Monday, March 10, 2014

Pacific chorus frog ~ 03/10/14 ~ MidPen Preserve

Pacific chorus frog / Sierran treefrog
Pseudacris sierra (formerly P. regilla)

Oh.  My.  God.  Look at how fat and huge this adult is!  Fatty, fatty frog.  With its dark throat, I'm guessing it's a male.  Those toe pads are amazing.  Oh, that large hand is not my own. Compare the size of this sucker with this anemic-looking juvie I raised a couple years ago.  

Apparently, I prefer an outdated common name by calling it a Pacific chorus frog on Nature ID.  I don't get why "treefrog" is commonly used as one word, when in fact, it is a frog.  Remember, I used to be a science content editor.  Technically (there are indeed naming rules for common names), if the thing in question is truly the noun, then it is at least two words, descriptor 'space' noun.  If the thing in question is not the noun, then it is either one word (e.g., butterfly is not a fly) or hyphenated (e.g., poison-oak is not an oak).  Perhaps, like its/it's and their/they're, this is a frequent grammatical error that many people don't pay mind.  At what point does common usage change the rules?


Jennifer said...

That's a big one! Definitely a male, though in my garden, it's usually the females that are that size.
I used to call them treefrogs, but after doing a lot of my own reading, I came away with pacific chorus frog. Definitely more appropriate! It seems there is a lot of confusion around the naming of this frog. I read once that this frog was divided into separate species - which makes it even more confusing!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Apparently in 2006, molecular analyses resulted in splitting P. regilla into 3 distinct species, which is now commonly accepted by herpetologists: It took a while for everyone to catch up with the new names. I like Pacific chorus frogs, because it reminds me it's their call that is often used as backdrop sound in old Hollywood movies.

randomtruth said...

I'd guess treefrog has pretty old roots as a generic term. The genus Pseudacris was a recent split as well. I grew up with Hyla regilla.

Here's a question for you: band-tailed pigeon and ring-necked snake. Shouldn't they be banded-tail and ringed-neck?

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Depends on your usage, Ken. As adjectives of pigeon and snake, band-tailed and ring-necked are fine. However, if you colloquially
use the descriptors in place of the noun, then you'd use the latter.