Library attendees learn about native frogs and toads

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Many people living in South Mississippi are familiar with the sounds of amphibious creatures singing to one another after the sun goes down. But identifying which songs come from a specific species is a specialty of researchers within the Mississippi State University Extension Center.

Dr. Eddie Smith, an extension agent with the Pearl River County MSU Extension Center, presented “Frogs and Toads of South Mississippi” to the attendess of the Crosby Memorial Library’s Summer Reading Program Tuesday afternoon.

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With over 5,000 species of frogs and toads worldwide, only about 30 live in Mississippi, Smith said.

He described each of those species to the group of more than 70 students who weren’t afraid to yell out in disgust at some of the more slimy amphibians.

Other students said they recognized certain species, having caught them in their backyard at home.

Smith also played a variety of mating and other calls for the students, a few of which they recognized.

Some of the calls are so loud they make people want to hold thier hands over your ears, Smith said.

After the presentation, the students asked Smith about frogs they’ve seen in their neighborhoods and got a first hand look at a southern toad caught by library staff.

“I always love the interesting questions they ask,” Smith said, who’s participated in many of the library’s programs in recent years.

Smith also told the students that it is okay to catch frogs and toads they find outside, but he warned that the amphibians often urinate on people’s hands.

The program is part of the six-week summer reading program sponsored by the Pearl River County Library System. Last week, participants witnessed a live magician perform a series of mystifying tricks. The program is held at the Crosby Memorial Library in Picayune every Tuesday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and at the Poplarville Public Library every Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m.

There is no cost to attend.

About Julia Arenstam

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