The Southern Leopard Frog is generally green or light brown in color, with dark brown or black blotching (that is the origin of their common name). They grow to 5 1/2" at the maximum (90 mm) in length and have a pointed snout. These frogs are usually smaller than their close relative the Northern Leopard Frog and have fewer spots.
This species prefers shallow, freshwater habitats, such as streams, ponds or lakes, with plenty of vegetation for camouflage. They are mostly nocturnal, and carnivorous, consuming almost any kind of insect they can catch and fit in their mouth, as well as earthworms, spiders and centipedes. They are excellent jumpers, and typically escape predation by leaping into the water and swimming to the bottom. Breeding occurs year round, as long as the temperature permits. Eggs are laid in a clutch of several hundred at the bottom of shallow water. Tadpoles hatch and remain in the fully aquatic form for approximately 90 days, feeding on algae and rotting plant matter.
Newman, C.E., Rissler, L.J. (2011): Phylogeographic analyses of the southern leopard frog: the impact of geography and climate on the distribution of genetic lineages vs. subspecies. Mol. Ecol.' 20: 5295-5312.
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