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Reptiles & Amphibians




Coastal Tailed Frog - Ascaphus truei

Stejneger, 1899




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More Information:


Northwest Resources List
Washington Herp Atlas




Related or Similar Northwest Frogs:


Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog



observation link



Coastal Tailed Frog Coastal Tailed Frog Coastal Tailed Frog
  Adults, Pacific County, Washington  
Coastal Tailed Frog Coastal Tailed Frog
Coastal Tailed Frog
  Adult female, Multnomah County, Oregon Adult, Pacific County, Washington
Coastal Tailed Frogs
Coastal Tailed Frog  
Adults in amplexus, Multnomah Co., Oregon © 2000 Brad Moon

Tailed frog amplexus is inguinal - the male clasps the female around her pelvis, unlike most of our frogs which use axial amplexus - the male grasps the female around her forelimbs.
Pupil is vertical  
     
The "Tail" or Male Copulatory Organ
Coastal Tailed Frog Coastal Tailed Frog Coastal Tailed Frog
Adult male Coastal Tailed Frog showing his tail-like copulatory organ. This organ, an extension of the cloaca, is used to transfer sperm into the female's cloaca during amplexus. She then holds the fertilized eggs for 9 or 10 months when she swims under a large stone on the bottom of a fast-moving creek and attaches the eggs to the bottom of the stone. This internal fertilization strategy lets tailed frogs breed in fast-moving water without the eggs washing away, which would happen if they were laid and fertilized on the surface of the water.
 
Tadpoles
Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole
Tadpole active in daylight, Multnomah County, Oregon Tadpole, Del Norte County
© Alan Barron
Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole
Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole
Tadpole feeding at night (underwater)
Del Norte County, California, showing the
white spot on the tail tip.
Metamorph which has not yet absorbed its tail, Del Norte County, California
© Alan Barron
Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole  
Most tadpoles have mouths at the front of the head, but the mouth of a Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole is underneath the head, which is flattened. The mouth position and head shape, along with specialized folds that create suction, help a tadpole cling to a rock surface while keeping its body close to the rock. This allows it to scrape food off the surface of underwater rocks in fast-moving creeks without letting the swift current wash it downstream.
 
   
Habitat
Coastal Tailed Frog habitat Coastal Tailed Frog habitat  
Habitat, Pacific County, Washington Habitat, Multnomah County, Oregon
 
Coastal Tailed Frog habitat Coastal Tailed Frog habitat  
Habitat, Multnomah County, Oregon
Habitat, Multnomah County, Oregon
 
     
Short Videos
Coastal Tailed Frog Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole  
Several views of a male Coastal Tailed Frog at a small forested creek in the Oregon Cascade Mountains. A Coastal Tailed Frog tadpole forages on the rocks of a small pool in a small creek in the Oregon Cascade Mountains. You can see its unique sucker-like mouth working from the other side of a piece of glass.




 
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