Name: Tailed frog (Ascaphus truei)
Order: Frogs (Anura)
Family: Tailed Frog (Ascaphidae)
What they look like
- Coloration usually matches the rocks they live in, can be brown, gray, green, red, or yellow
- Have a triangle on nose and a darkish eye stripe
- Males have a ‘tail’ which is actually the male reproductive organ
- Granular roughish skin
Where they live
- View a map of where they live
- In Washington State are found from the Cascade mountains to the coast, in higher mountain elevations, the population in Southeastern Washington has recently been separated into a different species, Ascaphus montanus
- Rocky forest streams, prefer fast moving clear water, rarely found away from water and only on really wet nights
- Breeding season is in the Fall and eggs are laid in the Spring/Summer
- Eggs are laid in strings underneath big rocks
- Tadpoles have a large sucker mouth to cling on the rocks in fast water streams and feed on algae
- Can take up to four years for tadpoles to complete metamorphosis
Cool Biology Facts
- One of the most primitive of all frogs and their closest living relatives are in New Zealand!
- One of the only frogs in the world that have internal fertilization
- Males do not vocalize, possibly because the females cannot hear calls over fast-moving water in streams
- Have reduced lungs (breath mostly through skin) which helps to limit buoyancy in water
- Fingertips are hardened like claws to help move around and the rocks on the fast moving water
- One of the longest living species of frogs can live up to 15-20 years!
- Main threats include habitat destruction due to logging and roads. View their status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.