View All Jun 15, 2016

Found on the Greenway: Frog vs Toad

By: Jim Bogenschneider, Catawba Master Naturalist

There has been a lot of chatter on the Internet lately about frogs and toads and I would like share some observations I have made specifically about how they relate to the frogs and toads on the Greenway. My first encounter was with a green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) in the photo below.


This frog looked very comfortable resting on a comfrey leaf that he matched in color almost perfectly. Green tree frogs can vary widely in color from almost yellow to dull green and sometimes close to slate. Like all frogs this one was close to a water source, a small stream.

Some people believe that these frogs are weather prophets and will croak just before it rains. Frogs and toads are both amphibians; the frog has a slender body and generally longer hind legs that they use to jump away from their many predators. Toads have generally shorter hind legs that they use to hop along the forest floor because they do not have many predators and do not need to be close to water. The toad also has a defense in the form of poison glands behind the eyes.


I came across this toad on the Lake Haigler loop. He was just sitting on his front porch enjoying the day and sipping a mint julep. I thought it was a bit early for a mint julep but I decided to let the matter go and continued on my way. As always I can’t wait to go out again and see what else nature is up to and what else can be found on the Greenway.