Florida Bog Frog
|Taxonomic Notes: This species was placed in the genus Lithobates by Frost et al. (2006). However, Yuan et al. (2016, Systematic Biology, doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syw055) showed that this action created problems of paraphyly in other genera. Yuan et al. (2016) recognized subgenera within Rana for the major traditional species groups, with Lithobates used as the subgenus for the Rana palmipes group. AmphibiaWeb recommends the optional use of these subgenera to refer to these major species groups, with names written as Rana (Aquarana) catesbeiana, for example.|
Rana okaloosae Moler, 1985
Paul E. Moler1
1. Historical versus Current Distribution. Florida bog frogs (Rana okaloosae) are locally distributed in Walton, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties, Florida (Moler, 1985, 1993). They are known to occur only along small streams draining to Titi Creek, the East Bay River, or the lower Yellow River, all of which ultimately drain to Escambia Bay. The Titi Creek populations in Walton County, Florida, appear to be isolated by approximately 30 km from populations in the lower Yellow River basin. Most known populations occur on Eglin Air Force Base. Florida bog frogs were unknown prior to 1982, and nothing is known about their historical distribution. This species was almost certainly more widely distributed during glacial periods when sea levels were lower than present, but there is no reason to believe that its historical distribution was substantially greater than present.
2. Historical versus Current Abundance. Rare, but may be common locally. Historical abundance is unknown.
3. Life History Features.
A. Breeding. Reproduction is aquatic.
i. Breeding migrations. Florida bog frogs do not migrate. They breed and permanently reside in the same habitats.
ii. Breeding habitat. Live and breeds in shallow, acidic, non-stagnant seeps or seepage-fed streams. Breeding occurs from April–August, with occasional calling heard into early September (Moler, 1985, 1992b).
i. Egg deposition sites. Eggs are laid as a film on the surface of quiet pools (Moler, 1992b).
ii. Clutch size. Has not been determined.
C. Larvae/Metamorphosis. At least some tadpoles overwinter (Moler, 1985, 1992b).
D. Juvenile Habitat. Same as adult habitat.
E. Adult Habitat. Adult Florida bog frogs are associated with shallow, non-stagnant, acid (pH 4.1–5.5) seeps and shallow, boggy overflows of seepage fed streams, usually in association with lush beds of sphagnum moss (Moler, 1985).
F. Home Range Size. Unknown.
G. Territories. Unknown.
H. Aestivation/Avoiding Dessication. Not applicable.
I. Seasonal Migrations. None.
J. Torpor (Hibernation). Unknown.
K. Interspecific Associations/Exclusions. Bronze frogs (R. clamitans clamitans) and southern cricket frogs (Acris gryllus) are common in habitats occupied by Florida bog frogs (Moler, 1985).
L. Age/Size at Reproductive Maturity. Unknown.
M. Longevity. Unknown.
N. Feeding Behavior. Unknown. At night, frogs have taken moths attracted by photographers' lights.
O. Predators. Unknown. Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) and southern water snakes (Nerodia fasciata) are common associates, and both likely prey on bog frogs.
P. Anti-Predator Mechanisms. Fleeing; otherwise unknown.
Q. Diseases. Unknown.
R. Parasites. Unknown.
4. Conservation. Most known populations occur on Eglin Air Force Base. Because Florida bog frogs were unknown prior to 1982, almost nothing is known about their historical distribution. Florida bog frogs are considered a Species of Special Concern in Florida.
1Paul E. Moler
Literature references for Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species, edited by Michael Lannoo, are here.
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