Tailed Frog

Ascaphus truei

Tailed Frog

Appearance

Tailed frogs grow one to two inches long and are dark brown. The males have a small tail used for mating. They can’t make any noise, but they can sense vibrations in the water with their skin.

Range & Habitat

The tailed frog can be found in undisturbed cool, fast streams in southwestern B.C., Washington, Oregon and California. In B.C., this animal lives in the Coast and Mountains ecoprovince.

Diet & Behaviour

Their food includes land and water insects and worms. They search for food mostly at night. Tadpoles and eggs need clean streams because their eggs and gills cannot absorb oxygen from the water if they are covered in dirt. Adults stay in the stream most of the time, but will hop into the forest on wet days to look for food.

Lifecycle & Threats

Quiet side pools are important, so that their eggs don’t get washed away. Tadpoles have suction cup mouths to hang onto rocks, and they take two to three years to grow into adult frogs. The adults don’t mate until they are seven or eight years old, and some tailed frogs can live for 20 years. They are one of the longest living frogs in the world! Tailed frogs are vulnerable to human disturbances, such as forestry and road building. These activities can damage breeding streams by removing vegetation (streams are too warm without shade vegetation) and adding silt to streams.

Status

COSEWIC: Special Concern
CDC: Blue

More Information

www.californiaherps.com

Photo: TheWanderingHerpetologist

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