Gastrophryne carolinensis, the Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad, in Lake county, Florida; 28 June 2014

2014-06-28 at 10-13-59

Gastrophryne carolinensis, the Eastern narrow-mouthed toad, photographed in Lake county, Florida (28 June 2014).

Now, here’s a lovely little camper from last June. This is a rather plump and adorable Eastern narrow-mouthed toad, Gastrophryne carolinensis. The sole native member of Family Microhylidae in Florida, this species is not actually true toad (Family Bufonidae). It’s more akin to the frog. Because the species is predominantly terrestrial, however, they’ve picked up the “toad” moniker in every day parlance (despite having moist skin and other attributes more associated with frogs than toads). Check out this post for more details on the Eastern narrow-mouthed toad’s phylogenetic classification.

2014-06-28 at 10-12-37I found this individual buried beneath a small piece of discarded wood at Palm Island Park in Mount Dora, Florida. I often find Eastern narrow-mouthed toads at Palm Island — and even under the same pieces of wood that remain scattered throughout the underbrush. The inset photo to this paragraph shows how the toad was postured when I first uncovered it — flat and wide.

This individual was quite remarkable for its rather strong yellow patterning. Most of the Eastern narrow-mouthed toads I’ve seen and photographed are a bit darker overall.

2014-06-28 at 10-14-52

What a fantastically plump and interesting amphibian, right? I sometimes look at images of frogs and toads from around the world and find myself astounded by the seemingly strange and bizarre physical forms they can take elsewhere… And then I come across another Eastern narrow-mouthed toad in the American southeast and I’m again reminded how seemingly strange and bizarre our own local species can be. The Eastern narrow-mouthed toad is somewhat reclusive and not nearly as encountered as other, better-known treefrog and true frog species, but they are still very much a common element throughout many of our local habitats. Truly, there’s nothing boring about my home region’s biodiversity. I’ll never grow tired of the American southeast.

2014-06-28 at 10-14-22

~ janson

Ascia monuste, the Great Southern White, in Ormond Beach, Florida; 30 June 2014

2014-06-30 at 22-10-06

Ascia monuste, the Great southern white, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (30 June 2014).

The Great southern white (Ascia monuste) is a lovely little butterfly of Family Pieridae. The species ranges from Argentina northward to the Gulf and Atlantic United States. Though a migratory species, Great southern whites can be found across the Floridian peninsula throughout most of the year. This particular species can be distinguished from other, similar white species of butterflies and moths (and there are many) by their bluish/green antennae tips. It is a most delicate and beautiful butterfly.

Continue reading

Back to the Now; Also: A Cuban Treefrog!

2014-08-08 at 22-45-17

Osteopilus septentrionalis, the Cuban treefrog, photographed in Volusia county, Florida (08 August 2014). Text

Okay, so the last few weeks have been somewhat chaotic and messed up (hence the short b&w Alaska posts), but things appear to be keeling out once again. After a series of family-medical issues, not to mention a wild array of work- and personal-stuff, I’m looking forward to smoother sailing the rest of August and into September. It’s time to dip our toes back into the wild offerings of Volusia county and central Florida!

Continue reading

words and images by Janson Jones