The Parklands of Floyds Fork is home sweet home to an abundance of species. But this blog will focus on the cricket frog that crossed our paths on the Black Willow Trail, in Beckley Creek Park on a Sunday hike.
Despite not living in the trees, the Northern cricket frog is a species of tree frog with rough, warty skin in a variety of colors. Cricket frogs have found a great home in The Parklands since they prefer the edges of slow-moving streams, such as Floyds Fork. Some are brown, black, red, green or gray, but all have a bright stripe of color running from the tip of the snout and down their backs, broken by a triangle pattern between the eyes. They are known for their jumping abilities. Cricket frogs can reach a height of over 60 times its body length when jumping upward – that’s like a person jumping up a 38 story building! This superhero jump helps them avoid predators such as snakes, turtles, salamanders and even wading birds.
Although you might think that the cricket frogs are named for their cricket-like jumping abilities, they actually take their name from the cricket-like call they use to attract mates and keep away other males.
Their suitable habitats are riparian areas such as ponds, creeks, wetlands, and even roadside ditches but they prefer the edges of slow moving streams. Many of the tadpoles don’t survive into adulthood, but those that do usually live for at least a year.
So the next time you are exploring The Parklands, look for cricket frogs, and please say a big “Croak!” from us!