Wood Frogs [springtime]
I have been teased recently with Nina’s special evening and Tom’s spring is coming posts talking about the big “amphibian/salamander night”! Many might remember my big migration night from last year on the 27 March 2007 and you just never know when the “big night” will happen this spring . . . . well, until maybe a night or two before the big event. I was looking back on my previous dates and they ranged from the 13th of March up to the 7th of April. What I am looking for is the weather to be very warm during the day and a rainy night to happen . . . . and then you will be seeing me standing out in the rain just waiting for the amphibian migration with camera in hand !!
Ignoring the Salamanders . . . . I wanted to focus my early anticipation with a discussion on Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica). These raccoon faced frogs are tan in color and can be very hard to find hopping around our woods (but they are there). They have some very interesting winter biology which can be explained from this video that I found on the web:
Wasn’t that one of the most interesting things you have ever learned? Wood Frogs can be found in mature, deciduous forest and they love areas with a moist forest floor. After breeding in vernal pools . . . the females can lay anywhere from 500 to 2000 egg in a huge egg mass. Depending on the weather, the egg masses will hatch anywhere from 2-4 weeks. The tadpoles will spent the rest of there lives in the forest after emerging from the vernal pools. They will avoid being eaten by hiding in spots under leaves (using camouflage), in moist logs or in small holes that they can find. Predators are primary Raccoons and snakes but many other ground dwelling critters would try feasting on them. The big migration night is “always” my best opportunity to seeing many of these amazing frogs up close!
I can’t promise when but expect the big night to happen anytime soon!
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