If it hadn’t been for his beady eyes, we wouldn’t have spotted this little America Leopard frog, less than two inches long and sitting motionless on a dead branch which barely stuck out of a healthy colony of the common duckweed. This floating aquatic plant, each with one, two or three lentil-shaped bright green leaves – a favorite of ducks – has a single sticky root hanging in the water. When the little frog emerged from the water to bask in the sun and wait for prey, these roots adhered to the rough frog skin to make an almost perfect camouflage. The frog’s speckled appearance made it difficult to detect him, both for his predators and his prey.
Northern Leopard frogs reach lengths of up to 5 inches. Once the most abundant frog species in North America, their numbers have significantly declined. They are sensitive to pollution and water acidity. Photo G. Kutzbach, from bridge at southern end of Class of 1918 Marsh
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors