Saturday, 30 August 2014

Painted Turtle and Leopard Frog

Midland Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta bellii and 
Northern Leopard Frog Rana pipiens
Waterloo, ON
30 August 2014

     In shallow ponds and marshes at this time of the year it is common to see brightly coloured painted turtles basking in the sun. As the following picture attests, this is a species that is aptly named.

     This turtle requires water courses with a muddy bottom and profuse growths of aquatic vegetation, which comprises a large part of its diet. It also feeds on crayfish, small frogs, earthworms, insects and small mollusks.
     Due to the musculature of its tongue it can only consume food underwater.
     Several individuals were present and all were jostling for the most favourable position to enjoy the warmth of an August day.

     I was also able to spot several Northern Leopard Frogs, one of our most attractive species in my opinion. In recent years this frog has not fared well and its numbers declined substantially. It seems to me that 2014 is a bit of a rebound year, just based on my own observations.

     Northern Leopard Frogs spend the winter at the bottom of a stream or river more or less dormant. There are always individuals who do not choose their winter habitat well and attempt to survive the cold months in water that is too shallow, and they either freeze to death or succumb due to the depleted oxygen levels as the ice gets thicker.


  1. A colourful pair of subjects, and interesting details. It's good that the frog seems to have done well this year if your observations are correct.

    There was an item on our ABC news this week about the rediscovery of the Jardine River Turtle after 20 years. The description almost fits your Painted Turtle but yours have more stripes and seem to have a yellow not crimson chest plate:

    "They're a slender turtle, on the side of their heads, especially around the cheek area they've got a bright yellow stripe.

    "Then as you go under the throat and down the neck, they've got a red stripe there, and all over their chest plate is a crimson red that's almost fluorescent."

    Apparently they are also known as Painted Turtles, and are listed as threatened in Qld.

  2. Thanks for a really great comment.

  3. I love the photos of Painted turtle !!

  4. Hello David.
    Beautiful photos of the turtle, very special with these beautiful colors.
    The frog is beautiful also.
    Both are not to be found in the Netherlands.

  5. Incredibly beautiful turtles, David!
    I know one thing.... I was not with you! LOL!
    The leopard frog is also a beauty worth discovering.
    Thanks for sharing these 2 gorgeous critters!
    Enjoy the new week,
    Hugs to both of you!

  6. Beautiful colors, these turtles.
    The frog is nice to see.
    Greetings Tinie

  7. The post title alone was enough to make my mouth water David. Two great subjects there and dare I say, almost as colourful as some of your warblers.Are Leopard Frogs so named because of their appearance or their predatory behaviour, or both?

    1. It's an excellent question, Phil. I have always assumed it is because of their spots. I will do a little research and if there is any information to the contrary I will post it.

  8. Just catching up, David.

    I've never seen anything quite like either of these two species. They are truly beautiful, and wonderfully captured through your lens!

  9. What a beautiful turtles with the red and yellow stripes and dashes. Really beautiful animal. The green frog is also a very special and i would have never seen. Great that you share it with us!