Gopher Frog: Rana capito
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
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.
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.