Nemesis Amphibian

12:12 PM


Birders know the term “nemesis bird” well.  It’s that bird that you just can’t seem to be able to find even though everyone around you always sees one 30 seconds before you arrive.  You can go years without seeing a nemesis bird; but when you find it, it is an incredibly satisfying feeling.  To some extent I had a “nemesis amphibian” in Ontario which I finally overcame in September.  Up until this September I had only ever heard Western Chorus Frogs (Psuedacris triseriata).  This had been an 11 year battle!  Although to be perfectly honestly I haven’t exactly made a solid attempt to see one during the breeding season, which I’m sure is easy enough in the right location at night time with a flash light.  Perhaps that was my problem. I was never in the right spot!  Where I live in the Greater Toronto Area, Western Chorus Frogs aren’t exactly common there are few sporadic spots where I have heard them, but typically you have to go further North or further South in Ontario to find them.  Also, these crafty amphibians are experts at not being found.  The combination of their excellent camouflage, small size and secretive personalities makes Western Chorus Frogs difficult to locate visually.

As mentioned in a previous post I spent some time in Southwestern Ontario this September and as luck would have it some male Western Chorus Frogs began to call sporadically, fooled by the Spring like temperatures.  I could hear them all around, but still could not see them…arg!  I was slightly even more frustrated one day when a colleague showed me a photo on her phone of a frog she found, but could not identify.  Of course it was a Western Chorus Frog.  

Finally a few days later I was walking on a trail in a forest when I saw something out of the corner of my eye jump out of the way of my foot.  At last the 11 year nemesis streak had been broken…it was a Western Chorus Frog.  Here are some photos...

Western Chorus Frogs (Psuedacris triseriata)
 
Western Chorus Frogs (Psuedacris triseriata)

Western Chorus Frogs (Psuedacris triseriata)

Western Chorus Frogs (Psuedacris triseriata)
 
Western Chorus Frogs (Psuedacris triseriata)

Western Chorus Frogs (Psuedacris triseriata)
Good herping!

~ Kristen Martyn 

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