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Rana areolata (aka Ringed Frog, Hoosier Frog, Texas Frog)
The crawfish frog is 2 to 3 inches long and is yellow to brown in color, with an all-white belly and numerous dark spots on the back, each with a lighter-colored ring surrounding it. There is a distinct skin fold on either side of its back.
Distribution and Habitat
This frog is found in grasslands, prairies, woodlands and other open areas from Indiana to Nebraska, south to Texas and east to Mississippi. Unlike most other frogs, the crawfish frog does not typically live next to water, but it does require a permanent or semi-permanent pond or other fish-free pool of water in order to lay its eggs. It spends almost all of its adult life in a burrow and is therefore rarely seen outside of the breeding season.
The crawfish frog is so named because crayfish form a principal part of its diet, although it will eat almost any small creature it can swallow, including other frogs.
The breeding season runs from late winter through mid-spring, depending on climate. Males attract females with a load call that sounds like a deep snore. After mating the female deposits an egg mass of up to 7,000 eggs in shallow water. It takes about twelve days for the tadpoles to hatch, and two years for the tadpoles to mature into adult frogs. Sexual maturity is reached by the frog's third year.
Crawfish frogs are nocturnal and solitary, and quiet except during the breeding season. They are fast and fairly nimble on land, but slow and somewhat clumsy in water. They can escape land predators with speed or by taking refuge in their burrows, but in water their only defense is to dive toward the bottom.
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This page was last updated on May 19, 2017.