( Lithobates sylvaticus). Patient Number 22-1832.
Date of admission: October 19, 2022.
Reason for admission: Disturbed hibernation.
The wood frog can be identified by the black marking across its eyes, a white stripe on the upper lip, and prominent folds of skin running down each side of the back. The remainder of their bodies can be varying shades of brown, red, green, or gray. Contrary to most other wild species, females tend to be more brightly colored than males. Adults can be 1.5 to 3 inches (3 to 8 centimeters) in length.
The wood frog is the most widely distributed amphibian in North America. Wood frogs have adapted to our cold climates by 'freezing' over the winter. During this time, they stop breathing and their hearts stop beating. Their bodies produce a special substance that prevents ice from freezing within their cells. When the weather warms, the frogs thaw and begin feeding again. Wood frogs are one of four frog species found in Alberta. Their typical habitat is in wetlands within forested areas and they often take shelter in leaf litter or shallow dugouts.
Adult woof frogs consume a diet of insects, arachnids, worms, slugs, and snails. Tadpoles are mostly herbivorous and eat algae and decaying plant matter. The wood frogs' have many natural predators of their own, though the largest threat is habitat loss.
Wood frogs begin the breeding season, usually in early March. Males can be identified by the quack-like calls they make during the day and night. Females lay masses of 1,000 to 2,000 eggs, which are usually deposited in very shallow water or attached to vegetation These eggs will hatch between 9 and 30 days later. The tadpoles transform into frogs in 6–12 weeks.
This wood frog was rescued after his burrow was disturbed during a digging excavation. He will remain with us until the spring once we return to warmer weather temperatures. Thank you for supporting his care!