Document Details

Document Type:   Thesis
Title:   A Taxonomic Study of the Genus Acris and the Status of Acris crepitans Blanchardi (Harper), Blanchard's Cricket Frog, in Southern Ohio and Western West Virginia
Author:   Amy Marie Hamilton
College:   Science
Degree Program:   Biological Sciences, M.S.
Degree:   Master of Science
Committee Director:   Thomas K. Pauley
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   4/21/2008

Distributions of Acris crepitans and Acris gryllus cover most of the eastern United States with some overlap, and the subspecies Acris crepitans blanchardi and Acris crepitans crepitans also occur sympathric in parts of their ranges. My study analyzed 15 morphological characteristics of A. c. blanchardi, A. c. crepitans, and A. g. gryllus using Canonical Discriminate Analysis. Results support current taxonomy, showing the most separation between A. crepitans and A. gryllus and some overlap between A. c. blanchardi and A. c. crepitans. Sexual dimorphism was seen only in A. c. blanchardi and A. c. crepitans with females being larger than males. Acris c. blanchardi (Blanchard’s Cricket Frog), is listed as a species of concern in Ohio and as possibly extirpated in West Virginia and is suffering declines throughout its range. Acidic conditions and habitat degradation are thought to contribute to A. c. blanchardi declines. I recorded number of A. c. blanchardi, dissolved oxygen, pH, and temperatures and conducted vascular plant surveys in Ohio and West Virginia. DO and pH differed significantly between sites with and without A. c. blanchardi. No apparent relationship was found between richness of flora and presence/absence of A. c. blanchardi. Habitat degradation of water with lower dissolved oxygen and higher pH appears be contributing more to A. c. blanchardi declines than richness of flora and total invasive species surrounding the water. 

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