Filed under: Reptiles & Amphibians
We’re well into froggy season now, and we’ve seen our second batch of bullfrog eggs. For some reason, both the Bulls and the Greens seem to prefer to breed in the 2 x 4 x 2 koi tub instead of the big pond. There are fish in both the pond and the tub, so go figure. What really puzzles me is how the frogs find the tub. The water is not visible from ground level (the tub is 2 ft high) and there is no water noise of any kind. It doesn’t seem like instinct would lead one UP to water. They must either be able to sense the water, or they just explore a lot and found it by accident.
The frogs have been especially noisy this year, which hasn’t bothered the neighbors as far as I know. The bullfrogs can be quite loud at times. When the males are singing, they puff themselves up with air like a balloon so that they float high on the water. When they call, the air transfers from their inflated lungs into the ballooning throat as if an invisible hand was squeezing him like a balloon. While in this inflated condition they seem to be especially agitated, charging and barking at other frogs. Ahhrummm!
The eggs develop very quickly, hatching tiny black tadpoles in about 3 days, but it takes two years to get from egg to frog. Right now, I have tadpoles morphing into frogs in the big pond, survivors of eggs laid in 2007. There are several dozen little frogs visible at any time, and big tadpoles frequently rise to the surface. The big bullfrogs are getting fat by eating little frogs, but every year I see a few that survive to sub-adulthood. Out of the thousands of eggs laid each year, only a couple will survive to produce the next generation. In a larger pond, the tadpoles would have slightly better odds, but the percentage of survivors in nature is always low. This selection for survival keeps the frogs healthy and the population at a sustainable level.
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