Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.

Florida Nature: Endangered Amphibians
Amphibians have a high success rate in Florida. There are currently no endangered or threatened amphibians listed by the State of Florida. For further information on Florida, you may want to purchase a book from our Florida Nature Library. Don't miss our "Nature Videos" slideshow set to music! The five species of special concern are listed below:

Flatwoods salamander listed as a species of concern in FloridaFlatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum) - The flatwoods salamander is medium-sized, reaching an adult length of 5 inches.  Body color ranges from silvery gray to black, with the back heavily mottled with a variable gray cross-band pattern. The underside is  gray with faint creamy blotches. The head is small and equal to the neck in diameter. The flatwoods salamander used to crawl over 100 million acres of longleaf pine habitat in the Southeastern United States. Now there is less than 3 million acres of habitat left - most of it in 11 wetland-rich Florida counties. There were 110 flatwoods salamander communities in four states prior to 1990. Now there are only 47, 34 of them in Florida. The Frosted flatwoods Salamander breeds in small, shallow, ephemeral ponds.  Adult salamanders spend most of the year underground in self-constructed burrows or those of crayfish, and small mammals, where they feed on a variety of small invertebrates. From September through December, adults migrate from surrounding upland habitats to their natal wetlands during rainfall events associated with passing cold fronts. The flatwoods Salamander was listed as Federally Threatened by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in 1999.

Georgia Blind Salamander found in Florida cavesGeorgia Blind Salamander (Haideotriton wallacei)-  The Georgia Blind Salamander no eyes or pigment. It has bright red feathery external gills, long, thin legs, and a finned tail. It reaches a length of only 3".  Its name is due to the fact that the specimen was first discovered in a 200 foot well in Albany, Georgia. It has since been discovered in Climax Cave in Decatur County Georgia, but for the most part they are distributed in 11 cave systems along the Florida Panhandle around Jackson County. The Georgia blind salamander is the only vertebrate cave dweller in Floridian caves. Georgia blind salamanders live a slow-moving life, creeping over the bottom and up along walls of caves. They are more common close to cave entrances, as food is more plentiful here. They feed on a variety of cave crayfishes, isopods, copepods, and detritus. Because of its limited distribution, the Georgia blind salamander has been seriously threatened by habitat loss. As a result the species is now protected in both states where they reside.

Pine Barren treefrog a amphibian of special concern in FloridaPine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii)-  The Pine barrens tree frog is only about 1–3 inches  long and is one of the smaller species of tree frogs. Members of the species are predominantly green, with wide dark stripes. They often have spotted orange-gold markings on the hidden surfaces of their legs, and also tend to have large toe pads. Pine Barrens tree frogs are most commonly found in brushy areas, often near peat bogs or shallow ponds. They usually inhabit areas carpeted with thick moss. Adults are terrestrial, but tend to reside near water sources. Unlike most frogs, Pine barrens tree frog are tolerant of low pH levels, and often lay eggs in shallow, acidic ponds. Members of the species are currently distributed in three distinct populations: New Jersey Pine Barrens, the Sandhills of North and South Carolina, and the Florida Panhandle area.

Florida bog frog, an amphibian of special concern in the state of FloridaFlorida Bog Frog (Rana okaloosae)- Bog Frogs have rough dark green to brown backs, black mottled undersides, yellow throats, and may have light spots on the lower jaw. A light brown line runs along the lateral fold and does not reach the groin area. This frog is less than 2 inches long. This frog is uncommon in Florida and is found only in a few acidic streams in Walton, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties in the panhandle. The Florida bog frog will call from spring to summer with a call which sounds like a chuckle -- a series of low-pitched single clucking calls, noticeably slower at the end of the call.

Florida gopher frog, an amphibian of concern in the state of FloridaGopher Frog (Rana capito)- These nocturnal frogs are noted for their short, stubby appearance. Their backs are marked heavily with dark spots, sometimes causing a clouded pattern. Their dorsolateral ridges are very distinctive. This frog will reach a length of 4.33 in.  The gopher frog usually spends daylight hours in burrows, holes, or tunnels that are created by other animals. The Gopher frog primarily inhabits the threatened sandhill communities, flat woods, and scrub in the Atlantic coastal plain, where it is usually found near ponds. The gopher frog breeds on spring nights in very wet conditions. They seem to be rare, but their secretive nature makes it difficult to determine their true population status.
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