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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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FWC Facts:
Bay scallops are bivalve molluscs occurring from New England through Texas. In Fla., they can be harvested in Gulf state waters from Hernando Co. to Mexico Beach Canal in Bay Co.

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