Florida Bog Frog: Lithobates okaloosae
Genus/Species: Lithobates okaloosae Common Name: Florida bog frog
Federal Status: Not listed
FL Status:State Species of Special Concern
FNAI Ranks: G2/S2 (Imperiled)
IUCN Status: VU (Vulnerable)
The Florida bog frog is a small and rare amphibian that can reach a snout-to-vent length of 1.9 inches (4.9 centimeters) (Moler 1992). This species has a yellowish-brown upper body, a yellow belly, brown eardrum, yellow throat, a narrow ridge that runs laterally down the back, and smaller webbed feet with larger toes (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).
The diet of the Florida bog frog primarily consists of small invertebrates (insects, etc).
There is limited information available about the reproduction of the Florida bog frog. Florida bog frogs breed between the months of April and August. During the breeding season, bog frogs will let out loud “chucks” to attract a mate. Their calls consist of 3-21 guttural (sound developed in the back of the oral cavity) calls continuously done at five notes per second. Females lay a few hundred eggs at a time on the surface of the water. Bog frog tadpoles metamorphose (transform) into frogs during the following spring months (University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, n.d., Moler 1992, Bishop 2005).
Habitat and Distribution
Florida bog frogs inhabit many areas including shallow, acidic spring seeps; boggy overflows of larger seepage streams; sluggish bends in streams; and pond edges (Moler 1992, Bishop 2005). The dominant vegetation in these habitats includes black titi (Cliftonia monophylla), sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), swamp titi (Cyrilla racemiflora), and blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica) (Moler 1992, Gorman 2009). The Florida bog frog is found in Walton, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties in Florida (Moler 1992).
The main threat to the Florida bog frog is the degradation of its habitat. Bog frogs thrive best in early succession vegetation. Suppression of fire will cause woody plants (i.e. oak trees) to invade their bog habitat causing increased evapotranspiration (evaporation of water from land to the atmosphere), which reduces seepage from the soil. Invasive vegetation also degrades its habitat; with Chinese tallow trees (Sapium sebiferum) being the main invasive threat (Jackson 2004). Invasive vegetation degrades habitats by out-competing endemic species for resources needed for survival. Feral hogs also threaten the Florida bog frog’s habitat by digging around in seepage areas which causes destruction to the habitat (Printiss and Hipes 1999). Road construction can increase silt and pollution in streams, and can also cause habitat fragmentation (Jackson 2004). Increased predation on Florida bog frogs is also a threat because their habitat is shared by the southern watersnake, cottonmouth, and wading birds. Other threats include pathogens and parasites, and the effects of global warming (increased sea level, drought, and intense storms).
Conservation and Management
The Florida bog frog is protected as a State Species of Special Concern by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.
-Biological Status Review (BSR)
-Supplemental Information for the BSR
Other Informative Links
Florida Natural Areas Inventory
International Union for Conservation of Nature
University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Printable version of this page
Bishop, D. C. 2005. Ecology and distribution of the Florida bog frog and flatwoods salamander on Eglin Air Force Base. Ph.D. dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg. 175 pp.
Florida Natural Areas Inventory. 2001. Field guide to the rare animals of Florida. http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Rana_okaloosae.PDF
Gorman, T. A. 2009. Ecology of two rare amphibians of the Gulf Coastal Plain. Ph.D. dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg. 178 pp.
Jackson, D. R. 2004. Florida bog frog: management guidelines for species at risk on Department of Defense Installations. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. p. 164.
Moler, P. E. 1992. Florida bog frog. Pages 30-33inP. E. Moler, editor. Rare and endangered biota of Florida, vol. III: Amphibians and Reptiles. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA. 291pp.
Printiss, D., and D. Hipes. 1999. Rare amphibian and reptile survey of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Final Report, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, Florida, USA. 57 pp.
University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. (n.d.). Florida's Frogs. Retrieved April 15, 2011, from UF Wildlife-Johnson Lab: http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/floridabogfrog.shtml
Image Credit FWC, Kevin Enge