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Canada's Species   Amphibians and reptiles

Tailed Frog

Ascaphus truei

Tailed Frog. Photo:David Green
Tailed Frog. Photo:David Green

Termed "primitive" by some, we prefer referring to the tailed frogs (Family Ascaphidae) as being "least different from the common ancestor of frogs". While lacking true tails as adults, they retain the tail-wagging muscles of their ancestors. The tail-like organ of males used in reproduction should not be confused with a true tail although it may resemble one. Another distinctive feature of the species is the vertical pupils in bright light, a characteristic they share only with the two other canadian anurans, the spadefoots. Found along the the lower coast of British Columbia, the tiny (51mm) tailed frog live in and along clear, cold streams in humid forests. As a result, extensive lumbering may endanger the species in some areas.

Map of Tailed Frog in Canada
Distribution of Tailed Frog in Canada

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