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Green Frogs

green frog, Lithobates clamitans
Contrabaroness, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
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A male green frog, Lithobates clamitans

A listener has a question about identifying a frog, based on the colors on its back.

This species is a mid-sized true frog. Adult green frogs range from 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in body length (snout to vent, excluding the hind legs). The typical body weight of this species is from 28 to 85 g (0.99 to 3.00 oz).
Green frogs usually have green heads while the body is brown, gray, or dark green. The green head can be more or less prominent on certain individuals, with some frogs only having green on the side of their heads while other frogs are green all the way down their back. The belly is white with black mottling. Male green frogs in breeding condition have yellow throats. Green frogs are darker colored on colder days to help absorb heat. Green frogs can sometimes be blue due to a genetic mutation known as axanthism that prevents the frog from producing yellow pigments (yellow and blue pigments together make the color green).

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.