Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Amphibians » Parsley Frogs: Pelodytidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Parsley Frog (pelodytes Punctatus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, PARSLEY FROGS AND PEOPLE

Parsley Frogs: Pelodytidae - Physical Characteristics

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Parsley frogs have little dark green blotches on their backs that look somewhat like pieces of parsley. Many people are familiar with parsley as the small, ruffled leaf that often decorates a plate of food at a restaurant. The frogs are rather thin and somewhat flattened with short, slender forelegs and long back legs. Their backs are brown, light greenish brown, or gray and speckled with small rounded warts. The Caucasus parsley frog, also known as the Caucasian parsley frog or Caucasian mud-diver, may have some red dots on its back. The underside in all three species is whitish to gray. The toes on their front feet are long and thin and have no webbing between them. The even-longer toes on the back feet have only a small amount of webbing. These frogs have large eyes with vertical pupils, a rounded snout, and no obvious eardrum on the side of the head. They are rather small frogs, growing to 1.8 to 2.2 inches (4.5 to 5.5 centimeters) long from snout to rump.

Males and females may be quite similar. In the Caucasus parsley frog, however, the female has a reddish back and lower belly. During mating season, the male parsley frog may develop small, rough pads on the toes of its front feet, on its forelegs, and/or on its chest. The rough spots, called nuptial (NUHP-shul) pads, help the male hold onto the wet and slippery body of the female during mating.

Until the year 2000, scientists thought that two of the three species in this family—the common parsley frog and the Iberian parsley frog—were the same species. The Iberian parsley frog, however, has some slight differences. Additional studies are now needed to find out whether populations that were thought to be common parsley frogs are actually Iberian parsley frogs and how the "new" species is surviving overall. In other research, scientists believe this family once had more than just three species. Based on fossils they have studied, they think the extinct species may actually outnumber the living ones.

Some people group the parsley frogs within the family spadefoot toads, but most scientists believe the parsley frogs should be separated into their own family as they are listed here.


Parsley Frogs: Pelodytidae - Behavior And Reproduction [next]

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