IDing tadpoles

When you are dipnetting in the Munson Sandhills and come across a tadpole, here are some questions  to help narrow down your species.

Are the eyes toward the top of the head (like the pic) or more along the side?  If toward the top, look at the Lithobates section (bullfrog, gopher frog, southern leopard frog, pig frog).  If not, ask the next question.

Is your tadpole small, black, and round?  If yes, look in the Anaxyrus section (oak toad, southern toad).  But note:  if its a dark body that is squarish with a pointed snout,  you have an eastern narrowmouth toad.  If none of the above, ask the next question.

Does your tadpole have a long flagellum?  That’s the tail like structure at the end of the tail fin (like the pic).  If yes, you likely have a treefrog so check out the Hyla section.  If not, look in the middle section at the Acris  (black tipped tail) and Pseudacris.

That should get in the right section of your field guide, anyway.  Once you understand the major groupings, you can look at the individual descriptions and compare and contrast.  Hope this helps!

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