Ribbit, Ribbit: Frogs and Toads of the Everglades

frogsDo you know the lovely creatures that sing their song at night in the Everglades? Frogs and toads! These amphibians are no strangers to Florida, and can be spotted all over the Everglades. The wetland is home to many different species of frogs and toads, including:




Florida cricket frog
Greenhouse frog
Green treefrog
Squirrel treefrog
Cuban treefrog
Florida chorus frog
Little grass frog
Pig frog
Southern leopard frog
Oak toad
Southern toad
Eastern narrow-mouth toad
Eastern spadefoot toad
The Everglades is a perfect environment for frogs and toads to live in. Amphibians like both dry and wet areas; when laying eggs, they remain close to bodies of water, which are abundant in the Everglades. Adult amphibians spend most of their adult life on land, while their babies and young grow and live in bodies of water.

Here is some more information on a couple of the frogs listed above. The pig frog’s croak sounds similar to the sound of a pig’s grunt, hence where the frog got its name. These frogs are brown and gray in color when they are adults. Their bellies are a yellow/brown pattern. Their skin is permeable and actually reflects toxins in the ecosystem.  They are similar looking to both green frogs and bullfrogs. They can grow up to 6 inches in length. In the Everglades, scientists are studying the pig frog, because of their importance in the food chain in the wetland; they believe these frogs can tell them a lot about the overall health of the Everglades. In the Everglades, they can be found by marshes and ponds. Their breeding season is from later spring to August.

The Florida chorus frog can be found in many parts of Florida, including the Everglades. They are smaller in size and grow to be 1.25 inches. Their coloring depends on the weather. When it’s warm, they appear to be a light gray color with dark gray spots and when it’s colder, they are a darker gray in color, and their spots aren’t noticeable. The Florida chorus frog can be found in near the edges of water sources or near grass clumps. They also frequent marshes, ponds, and drainage ditches. This frog’s breeding season is dependent on the rain, so in the Everglades this stretches from late spring to the fall.

Want a glimpse of some of these frogs up close? A great way to see these amphibians and other creatures in the Everglades is on an airboat! Come join Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours for an adventure through a mystical place that you’ll never forget. To book a trip, click here or call 800-368-0065.


Understanding the Differences Between Frogs and Toads

cane toad

A cane toad.

It’s certainly easy to confuse frogs and toads – after all, they are both small amphibians with similar appearances that can often be found sharing the same environments. However, there are a few important differences to note that will have you easily identifying each with no trouble at all.

Physical Characteristics

  • Frogs are strong jumpers with long, powerful hind legs, while toads have short, muscular legs that are used for walking and hopping.
  • The skin of frogs is typically smooth, moist, and loose around their bodies, while the skin of toads is typically bumpy, warty, and dry.
  • Frogs have teeth on their upper jaws, used for grabbing and catching prey, while toads have no teeth at all.
  • Frogs’ eyes bulge out, while toads’ eyes do not.
  • Both frogs and toads have a lot of variation in size amongst sub-species, but toads do tend to be larger.
  • Some types of frogs have webbed feet, while toads do not.

Behavioral Characteristics

  • Frogs lay eggs while some toads lay eggs and others give birth to live young.
  • Frogs prefer moist environments and mostly live in water, while toads prefer dry environments and live mostly on land, although some toads have adapted to moist environments.

It’s also important to note the similarities that exist between toads and frogs, other than the similarities in just their appearances. Both frogs and toads live an average of 7-14 years, though some have been reported to live as long as 40. They also have very similar diets, feeding on insects, worms, algae, small fish, and invertebrates, which is why they can often be seen sharing habitats around marshes and swamps. Both toads and frogs can also be extremely poisonous, with the golden poison frog being the single most poisonous animal in the entire world. Fortunately, there are no known poisonous frogs in Florida, although people should keep an eye out for cane toads, which produce a toxin that can be lethal to both pets and humans.

To observe frogs and toads for yourself and practice telling them apart, take an airboat tour in the Everglades with Captain Mitch and his friendly crew. Everglades tours are a fantastic way to experience all the beautiful wildlife that Florida has to offer, providing thrills the whole family can enjoy and will remember for years to come.