That sound you hear coming from your lake or pond on a summer's evening may be an anuran looking for a date! Georgia is home to almost three dozen species of "anurans," better known as frogs and toads. While there are some subtle differences between frogs and toads, they're all four-legged amphibians without tails (hence the term "anurans," which is Greek for "without a tail"). They hatch from eggs into tadpoles, then metamorphose into their adult forms. Adult frogs and toads come in terrestrial, arboreal, and aquatic varieties, but all lay their eggs in or near water. If you live near a lake, pond, or stream, you're probably quite familiar with the ability of male frogs and toads to vocalize during breeding season. Georgia's largest frog species, the Bullfrog (pictured above), makes a particularly distinctive "jug'o'rum" mating call in early summer.
All adult frogs and toads are carnivorous; most are insectivores, although the larger-mouthed species, including the Bullfrog, have been known to eat small birds, rodents, and other amphibians. While some species do secrete a skin-irritating substance, it's pure myth that handling a frog will result in warts. Anurans pose no danger to humans, but kissing (or licking) a frog or toad isn't likely to conjure up your own Prince Charming!