Alexander Co., Illinois. March 2, 2008.
We waded out into the shallow water, more of a small pool than a pond out on the edge of a tilled field. Spring peepers were calling, but there was still enough light for them to hush at our approach. It was tough to spot the little frogs in all the clumps of vegetation. Off in the distance we could hear the squawky chuckle of leopard frogs at another pond. The light continued to fade, and finally it was dark enough for the frogs to stop noticing us. Now the peepers were deafening, and underneath them another frog was sounding off with increasing frequency. This was the frog we had come to see; now all we needed to do was see one. We continue to move slowly, shining our lights at the clumps of vegetation. Then I spotted a chubby little frog, standing almost upright in the middle of a grass clump, that I swear was not there just a minute before. It was a male illinoensis, essentially standing on tip-toe to get heard by any nearby females. Now more of these frogs appeared, including females – it looked like our timing was perfect. After breeding season is over, these frogs disappear underground, coming out at night and during rains to feed.
HerpMapper records for this species are here.