Monthly Archives: September 2014

Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens)

northern leopard frog

Photo by Bill Reynolds

Northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) is a slim, medium-sized, widely recognized, true frog. It is widespread and very common, occurring in every county in the state. It is found in woodlands and grasslands, always within about a half mile of a waterway, water body, or wetland. Most adults are green on the back (dorsal surface) with 2 to 4 rows of rounded black spots. However, background color and spotting is variable and there are two distinct color morphs. Some adults have a greenish-brown or brown background. The Burnsi color morph is brown or green with no dorsal spots. The less common Kandiyohi color morph is brown with flecks of white, brown, or black between the spots. Juveniles may have few or no dorsal spots.

Cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli)

cockspur hawthorn

Photo by Kirk Nelson

Depending on who you ask, there are 9 (or 10) species of hawthorn in Minnesota, not including 2 (or 3) species that haven’t been seen in the state in the last 50 (or 100) years. Cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli) is in neither group, though the USDA shows Minnesota as part of the native range of this species.

Cockspur hawthorn is most similar to dotted hawthorn (Crataegus punctata). It is distinguished by its leaves, which are hairless. In addition, the upper leaf surface is shiny and does not have impressed veins.