Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lookin for love in all the moist places

Order: Anura

I have been greeted in the evenings and early mornings by the songs of frogs. The need to breed is driving them all together to the marshy areas, wetlands, storm sewers and other places there is water. Most of the time they will return to the spawning grounds they hopped out of, announcing their presence to possible mates with their music. I have been helping them do so safely and productively for almost 20 years.

Pacific Tree Frog, typical of the ones I see near my home. They are quite small when they first appear (about the size of my thumbnail) and grow to be about the size of my thumb if they live long enough.

Near my home are many marginal and well established wetlands. These include the aforementioned storm drains, ditches (marginal), seasonal ponds (marginal), well established ponds and marsh wetlands (especially in the area around Johnson Creek and the adjacent areas). The frogs I hear and see are mostly tree frogs (family: Hylidae) including Pacific Tree Frogs (Hyla Regilla) and Western Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris Triseriata). Sometimes there are bullfrogs but these are invasive, non-indigenous and tend to eat their smaller cousins.

We have had a wet couple of weeks and my assessment of spawning grounds is that even the marginal areas are quite wet. Many frog eggs, many tadpoles. One will often see a fair amount of algae along with frog eggs and the tadpoles tend to snack on this while they develop. When I scoop up tadpoles from a drying marginal habitat I usually get plenty of algae along with them. You can also feed them flake fish food (this will also encourage algae growth).

Western Chorus Frogs look like this as hatchlings

Another Western Chorus Frog

Gratuitous goose honking, unrelated to frogs:

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Filed under Frogs, Nature, tadpoles