Floridata Article

Gopher Frog (Rana capito)

gopher frog

Gopher frogs spend their days in the cool protection of gopher tortoise burrows. They venture out at night to hunt insects. In the springtime gopher frogs migrate up to a mile to isolated ponds where they sing, mate and lay eggs. Their breeding song is a resonant snore that can be heard for a mile on calm, rainy nights. When gopher frog tadpoles transform into little froglets they must leave the pond and find a tortoise burrow. Captured outside the safety of his adopted burrow, this gopher frog would like the world to go away! (Actually, this head-hiding behavior is probably a defensive response to protect the head and make itself harder to swallow.) The State of Florida lists the gopher frog as a Species of Special Concern, which is not quite as vulnerable as Threatened, and even less vulnerable than Endangered. If you approach a gopher tortoise burrow quietly and quickly peek into the opening, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of a gopher frog perched near the burrow entrance.


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