Description - Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora aurora)
The general form moderately slender, length 5 to 7 centimetres, the head is Red legged frog, broader than it is long. The eyes are moderate with a horizontal pupil, the ear membrane is small, about one-half the diameter of the eye. No parotoid gland, and the dorsolateral fold not prominent. The front and hind legs are long and slender. The heel of hind leg when extended forward extends beyond the snout. The hind toes are fully webbed; the skin is smooth, sometimes displaying small tubercles, particularly on thighs.
The colour on top is light brown, sometimes with reddish tinge and usually with small, irregularly shaped dark spots on the head and body, a dark patch from eye to the corner of the jaw, and a light line along the upper jaw from a point below the eye to skin-fold behind the angle of the jaw. The hind legs may be speckled or barred with dark brown, the under-parts are light with dark mottling, a conspicuous red colouration displays on the side of the body and under-surfaces of fore and hind legs.
The Red-legged Frog may be recognized by its slender form, smooth skin, dark patch behind the eye and red colour on the sides of the body and under-surfaces of the legs.
Along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to extreme north-western California, In British Columbia the Red-legged Frog is known only from the south coastal region, west of the Coast Mountains, including Vancouver Island.
Habitat and Habits:
The Red-legged frog is an inhabitant of woods, banks, streams, and shorelines of lakes. In these surroundings it is usually seen only when it is disturbed, at hidden in the grass, at which time it may leap a considerable distance into the water and swim rapidly to the bottom. After a time, if the observer is patient, the frog may be seen floating to the surface and may be easily taken in a net.
The eggs are laid in masses during March and April in backwaters of lakes and streams. Tadpoles transform in mid to late July. Life span can be up to thirteen years.
Adult Red-legged Frogs feed happily on insects and other small invertebrates, which they hunt along the edges of streams and ponds. Tadpoles graze on algae.