Amphibians

Most amphibians lay their eggs in water, with their larvae undergoing metamorphosis from a juvenile form with gills to an adult air-breathing form with lungs. Adult amphibians also use their skin for respiration, with some small terrestrial salamanders even lacking lungs. Amphibians are cold blooded animals and unable to maintain their body temperature above that of their surroundings.

In late winter or early spring the Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs can be heard calling loudly. This is part of their courtship ritual, and creates a chorus of peeps, growls, and croaking sounds. Salamanders begin to emerge from the ground to look for a nearby vernal pool. In summer, the tadpole (also known as polywog) hatch and begin their transformation into frogs. Salamanders begin to hunt for food near edges of streams. In fall, the amphibian songs begin to quiet down, but they can still be found along the edges of water and in the forest. As the weather begins to turn cold, it is at this time that most amphibians take cover and hide for warmth. In the winter, most amphibian activity has ended and they are in hibernation until next spring.

In Connecticut, there are approximately 10 species of frogs and toads, and about 12 salamanders, newts and mudpuppies. The most common frogs are green frogs and bullfrogs. The most common toad is the Eastern American Toad, and the most common salamander is generally the Redback Salamander.