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Gopher Frog: Rana capito

Appearance:

The gopher frog is a stout-bodied frog from two to four inches long found throughout most of the Florida peninsula. They are cream- to brown-colored, with irregular dark spots on their backs and sides.

Habitat:

Because of habitat destruction, the gopher frog is very rare in its traditional southern range. It is listed as a species of special concern in Florida.

Behavior:

Gopher frogs will travel great distances, as much as a mile or more, to breed in temporary ponds year-round, laying eggs in shallow water. As adults, they hop into surrounding uplands, where they find a home in the active burrow of a gopher tortoise. They may also use a stump hole or the abandoned burrow of a small rodent. They are nocturnal, and seldom range far from their daytime retreat. You may be able to glimpse one by sneaking up on a gopher tortoise burrow very early in the morning.

Their call is a deep guttural snore, and heavy rains at any season may stimulate choruses, many of them calling at once. Sometimes they call from underwater, so as not to attract predators, a noise that must be detected by hydrophone.

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