6 The Daily News, March 5, 1993
You can hear many kinds of frogs in the night
The other night I was walking
home observing the moonlit land-
scape. All of a sudden a frog
jumped out from the bush onto the
road; The big frog caught my eye as
its brownish skin shone in the
The forests, and jungles of South
America are. world renowned for
their amazing diversity of plant.and
animal species. Early explorers,
must have been fascinated by the
many new and strange creatures
they encountered along the way.
South America's rain forests
have some of the prettiest frogslin
the world. The frogs come in an
array of colors and patterns.
Seldom if ever are South Ameri-
can frogs molested, for their attrac-
tive skins produce a variety of ven-
oms, some of which are among he
most toxic substances known to
man. Whenever the poison from
dark in color. Eggs, like those of the
Antillean frog, are hatched out of
the water as miniature adults. These
Olasee frogs are less than one inch long.
Davis Mute frogs are found on all three
islands. They are also called silent
frogs aid are found under stone,
wood and leaves and in damp, rot-
Our environment ten areas, especially in forest areas.
This frog is tan in color, witli heavy
one of these frogs is induced into an splotches of dark brown and two
aninial's bloodstream, it will para- parallel lines along the back. The
lyze or almost kill the victim chin and the-underside of thighs are
instantly, gray-pink. This frog can grow up to
Frogs are amphibians, cold- 1 inches in length.
blooded animals that can live on The common coqui frog is not
land or in water. native to the VirginIslands. This
At present the Virgin Islarids has species came from Puerto Rico,
six kinds of frogs; However, we do probably with shipments of plants.
not have poisonous frogs. The This frog has a distinctive two-note
Antillean frog, a native, is found on call, "co-qui," with a pause between
all three islands. This frog can be notes. It is heard at dawn or dusk.
recognized by its bumpy underside, This frog is usually brown or
dark'brown marbling along the grayish brown, with the. inside of its
inner surface of the thighs and hind legs a solid red or brown. The
black lines extending from. the common coqui lays its eggs out of
snout to the ears. This frog can also the water. Adult frogs are more than
be identified by' its "churree-chur- one inch long.
rec" sound. The white-lipped frog has white
During the day it can be found in or yellow stripes on its upper lip.
areas that receive sunlight. At night, The upper parts of the frog are dark
it can be found in shrubs and grass, olive or brownish with blotches.
The eggs of these frogs are laid The call of this frog.is "quick-
out of the water and they develop quick-quick," often prolonged. This
directly into small.frogs. These frog can be heard in the evening
frogs grow up to 1V inches long. ard after rain during the day. The
The whistling frog is another white-lipped frog is semi-aquatic
common type on St. Croix. It makes and spends most of its time in
a whistling sound, usually followed ponds or slow-running stirtans.
by one to four clicks, early in the The Cuban tree frog first
evening. This frog can be identified appeared at the West Indies Labora-
by the absence of a ridge between tory on St. Croix in 1972. This frog,
its eye and nostril. I anm told, escaped from biologists
The basic color of this frog is and since then. this variety has pop-,
gray, with a dark line down the ulated St. Cioix. Late ini 1975, A
middle of the snout. The eyes are Cuban tree frog Was found in the
Crown Mountain area on St.
Thomas. It probably went ovet'with
a shipment of plants.
The call of this frog is "croak."
Many residents get distressed with
the loud sound. The frog's skin is
toxic to humans and may cause
This frog, which breeds in. water,
is a pest for many people because it
is found in louvers, wells, cisterns,
roofs and swimming pools.
The Cuban tree frog is usually
cream in color; sometimes it
appears greenish or even yellow.
This frog grows.up to three inches
The bufo marinus toad is a
native of South America. This giant
toad was brought to the islands dur-
ing the sugar cane days to control
.grubs. The toad is commonly found
in open fields or cultivated areas.
. The toad is voracious. Large
insects, locusts -and beetles are
among its prey. As a pet, it will eat
meat, fish or pet food. At times
dogs eat this toad and they end up
sick or dead..
This toad is covered with wart-
like tubercles tan, dark brown,
black or rust yellow.in color. It
grows up to 10 inches in length and
hangs around standing water.
I guess the frog that jumped out
at me that night was a toad.
The night sounds of these
islands are made not by birds but by
frogs'. Each froglhas-a'different
sound. Frogs are ieje to stay. Aftey
all, they are part of nature.
Oiasee Day*i who holds a mas-
ter of sciese degree in range mnan-
agemeet and forestry ecology, is an
ecologist, activist and writer.