Frogs and/or toads are the other iconic symbol for Davis (the more common symbol being a penny-farthing bicycle). Various local artists, including David Gilhooly, Heidi Bekebrede, and others have used this motif. So has Lyon Real Estate in their famous Frog Signs. Davis is also home of the famous Toad Tunnel. Toad Hollow Dog Park is just beyond.
All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. (That line is a good conversation starter.) Generally what people consider to be toads are the species that are stubbier, have dry-warty skin, walk instead of jump, and prefer dryer climates. Here in Davis, if you encounter a toad it's probably a California Toad (a subspecies of the Western Toad), and if you encounter a frog it's probably a Sierran Tree Frog. They are both mainly active at night, so you're lucky if you see one at all. Frogs and toads both lay their eggs in water, so you're more likely to encounter them there.
Large numbers of Sierran Tree Frogs can be heard (in mid February) "ribbiting" near West Pond. Sierran Tree Frogs are the only species of frog that "ribbit." They are also called "Chorus Frogs" because during the mating season they migrate back to the water source of their birth and the males make a chorus of "ribbits" to attract a mate. When a lot of these frogs get together the resulting choir can be quite spectacular, as they start and stop "ribbiting" at the same time.
Frog and Toad Species in Yolo County
Per the California Department of Fish and Game range maps, the following frogs and toads live in Yolo County. They are all native except for the American Bullfrog, which was introduced from the Eastern U.S. and is likely a factor in the decline of the California Red-Legged Frog.
|Common Name||Taxonomic Classification||Range in Yolo County||Native Status|
|California Toad||Anaxyrus boreas halophilus||entire county||Native|
|Western Spadefoot Toad||Spea hammondii||Sacramento Valley||Native|
|Sierran Tree Frog||Pseudacris sierra||entire county||Native|
|Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog||Rana boylii||foothills||Native|
|California Red-Legged Frog||Rana draytonii||foothills and various areas along the I-505 corridor||Native|
|Lithobates catesbeianus||entire county||Invasive|