Frogs moved in to the ponds soon after the weather warmed up this spring. They sunbathe on the pond edges, rest on lily pads, and jump into the water whenever I approach.

This beauty is a green frog (Lithobates clamitans). You’d guess that just looking at his face, but the tell mark is the dorsolateral ridge, the prominent ridge of skin that runs from his eye down his back. Bullfrogs look similar, but don’t have ridges on their backs.

I say “his” because his round tympanum is about twice as large as his eye. In females, this ear and eye are the same size.

At least, he looks like a male today. One study used genetic markers to find that that between 2 and 16% of green frogs switch sexes.

I don’t know why he is missing his right front leg, but its absence doesn’t seem to slow him down in daily life. He’d use it to hold onto his partner during mating, though, so maybe he’ll switch sexes to be in front! (This is raw speculation, but let’s wish him the best.)

Green frogs eat insects, spiders, and even other frogs that to come too near.