As we hiked through Illinois State Beach Park North, we came upon a boggy area with a narrow path.
Oreo was leading pulling Chris and I couldn’t see much ahead of Breck as I pulled up the rear. All of a sudden these guys were flying everywhere! I swear, instead of jumping backwards or not jumping at all, they all chose to jump in front of us with precise timing to either hit our knees, ankles, get kicked or worse… stepped on. =-O Luckily, the only known one to be stepped on, was stepped on by Oreo. His 40 pounds wasn’t going to stop Mr. Frog, he hopped quickly away. I was surprised the boys weren’t going after them… I’m guessing they taste bad and they knew this.
As the name implies, the Plains Leopard Frog is native to the Great Plains Region of the United States. Plains, of course, referring to our vast grasslands and the frogs attraction to them. They are one of the only frogs in Illinois to enjoy being out of the water and feeling the grass between their toes!
They are usually found near creeks, streams, ponds, reservoirs, irrigation ditches and marshes adjacent to prairie grasslands, farmland and prairie canyons. Leopard Frogs are a fairly common frog (although not to me!) and can even set up shop in a residential pond.
They are generally night owls and primarily eat bugs, although they are opportunistic and will also eat other frogs. These guys also make a pretty odd call. I wouldn’t have thought it was a frog. Listen for yourself!
Plains Leopard Frog – Lithobates blairi
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl