Sabinal Frog
Leptodactylus melanonotus

Sabinal Frog (Leptodactylus melanonotus)
Tamaulipas, Mexico

The Sabinal Frog (Leptodactylus melanonotus) is a widespread and fairly abundant from from the lowlands of both coasts of Mexico down into the lowlands of Central America then into northern South America.  It is a small, fairly nondescript from that frequents open country and grasslands.  It is also found in disturbed areas so it's call is often heard in towns and villages throughout its range.
Many Sabinal Frogs have a backwards pointing triangular mark between their eyes, but in such a variable species it is not always visible.
While they are common and will call from any flooded grassy area, even small roadside puddles, they are difficult to find when calling because they frequently call from below tangles of grasses.

Their call has been described as a "doink", but I hear it more as a "pok" sound. There is actually a preceding syllable without obvious pitch, so the net effect is sort of a "t-pok".  The first part of the call increases slightly in pitch while the second part decreases slightly.  Here is a single call:



And the spectrogram for that individual call:




When hear in groups, sometimes the frogs appear to only give part of the call and it can be difficult to discriminate which part of the call is actually first.  Here is a recording of two individuals calling from a small flooded grassy area within 2 feet of the paved road in Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica. Although there are two frogs calling, you can hear the two part nature of each call.


Two Sabinal Frogs from Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica

When heard in a large chorus, the sound remniscent of the sound of loudly dripping water.  This chorus of Sabinal Frogs was recorded in a flooded grassland along a road near the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge in northern Costa Rica.


Sabinal Frog chorus from Caño Negro, Costa Rica

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© Chris Harrison 2014

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