November 30, 2021


We know our pets

Mainer finds a rare blue bullfrog in her backyard pond

Sep. 11—Green frogs and bullfrogs are typical sights in freshwater ponds and wetlands about the state. But just about every so usually, a frog that would be inexperienced is blue.

This is not a unfortunate frog. Rather, it really is a colour mutation recognised as axanthic, and is quite exceptional in the amphibian earth.

Eco-friendly-colored frogs get their shade from two pigments — blue and yellow, in accordance to Derek Yorks, wildlife biologist in reptiles, amphibians and turtles with the Maine Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. When the yellow pigment is missing, the frog is blue.

Gretchen Gordon Audet has a single residing in her central Maine pond and is aware it is some thing distinctive.

“It truly is amazingly uncommon,” Yorks reported. “We commonly get reviews of just 1 a 12 months [and] so far this yr we have gotten two.”

In addition to Audet’s frog, a blue frog was spotted this week in southern Maine. Yorks claimed these are fortunate sightings.

“I have seen 4 blue frogs in my life,” Yorks stated. “3 in 1 12 months and that was a banner calendar year.”

Griffin Dill, built-in pest management expert with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, mentioned he is viewed them a few of situations.

“This is a rather unusual event,” he mentioned. “But it does are likely to be extra common in the northern locations.”

It can be the very same sort of pigment mutation that results in blue lobsters like the one particular caught off the coast of Portland previous month, in accordance to Dill.

“We have gotten used to seeing distinct colored lobsters and we see a handful of all those each individual year,” Dill stated. “The frogs are a bit extra unusual.”

In Maine both of those inexperienced frogs and bullfrogs can exhibit the mutation.

Audet’s blue frog is a bullfrog and she mentioned she has claimed it to the Maine Herpetological Modern society.

“According to them [blue frogs] are extremely scarce with only a person noted as getting observed each and every yr,” Audet stated. “It is very interesting, to say the least.”

The coloration mutation can switch the entire frog, or just component of it, blue.

“Occasionally you see a frog and its body’s blue and the legs are eco-friendly,” Yorks mentioned. “More seldom you will see a single lacking the blue pigment and it will be yellow.”

The mutation is totally random and, according to Yorks, not brought on by any environmental conditions. It truly is not the only shade mutation amid amphibians.

“The red backed salamander is a single that virtually every particular person in Maine has under a log in the backyard,” Yorks explained. “It can be brownish with a large, purple stripe on its back again and occasionally you get a single that is fully pink.”

That mutation is referred to as anerythristic.

Whilst rare, it is probable to location oddly pigmented amphibians when you know in which to look, in accordance to Yorks.

Dill’s blue frog sighting was near Pushaw Stream in Outdated City.

“These colour mutations do transpire all the time,” Yorks reported. “If you invest a whole lot of time in spots with a ton of frogs, you will see a single eventually.”

Audet is retaining an eye out for her blue bullfrog.

“I haven’t witnessed him for a few of weeks,” she reported. “Hopefully he’s continue to all-around.”