Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Geraldine the bullfrog in the goldfish pond

 In the goldfish pond.
Daisy spotted Jeremiah Geraldine–in the flower pot
I went to the experts. My 'Jeremiah', whom Jesse named, a friend cleverly renamed Geraldine.

The Reptile and Amphibian group explained how to sex them: the size of their ear drums!
A biggie - 12" ruler of my Dad's
officially they measure them snout to vent!
I think she has grown wider! (3 1/2")

Daisy likes her walks down to the frog pond, too. We spot many tadpoles.

It is hard to spot the tadpoles. They sit in the sunshine, far from the shore. Without wading into the water, which disturbs them, it is difficult getting a great shot!

The issue with amphibians is how sensitive they are to the environment. The breathe through their skin, and I am careful to have clean hands when I touch them. I do not handle Geraldine any more than to get her photo.
That said, she seems to understand that I mean her no harm. I can touch her, walk by and she sits like a statue.
I set her on the large, flat rock after her photo shoot, and measurement, and she sat there for a time.
Daisy and Geraldine

While she wintered in the goldfish pond, she left in spring, presumably to lay eggs in the frog pond. She returned, and sits in the plant pot most of the day.
Tadpole in July –hard to spot!
They hover near the surface of the large frog pond.
hiding under the leaves when predators come by.
We don't have any predatorial heron or egrets, 
but there are raccoons, snakes, and turtles about.

AFter her photo shoot, she posed for me!

Daisy gives her a kiss sniff

Grips my ruler
North American bullfrog
She'll lay 20,000 eggs in one go, with usually one male fertilizing the lot.
They have to be 3 - 5 years old to reproduce. This is why many reptile and amphibian species are at-risk, such as turtles. It takes time to mature.

"Bullfrogs also have a longer breeding season and a higher rate of “pre-metamorphic survivorship” (tadpoles), which also allows them to be more successful than other frogs."
They are worried in some US states about them being an invasive species. The male bullfrogs can be territorial, and fight for shore line space with other frogs.

The eggs gestate about 4 days.
We have a vernal frog pond on the property where they reproduce. Thing is, some bullfrog tadpoles take 2 - 3 years to mature and metamorphose into adult frogs. When the pond dries the tadpoles die.

Geraldine can live from 7 to 9 years in the wild. Gerry has been with us for two.
She hunkered down in the frog pond during the winter. I could spot her swimming around under the ice. It was spooky.

Geraldine watched the goldfish.
So far they haven't disappeared, 
don't know why she doesn't eat them,
but they are procreating like mad.
They eat almost anything, even other frogs.
Bullfrogs are predators. They usually eat snakeswormsinsectscrustaceansfrogs, tadpoles, and aquatic eggs of fish, frogs, insects, or salamanders. They are cannibalistic and will not hesitate to eat their own kind. There have also been a few cases reported of bullfrogs eating bats. Bullfrog tadpoles mostly graze on aquatic plants.

They have a reputation for just sitting and waiting for prey. I saw this with my own eyes as a leopard frog leaped and Gerry launched herself at it, quite sprightly for a large girl, and ate it up.

Scientific name: Rana catesbeiana, an amphibian.

 Daisy likes her new friend, Geraldine. She gave her a wee kiss. Gerry is as big as Daisy's head! Daisy should be a year old in August. We're not sure, as she and twin, Dorah, were rescue kittens.
Tadpole close-up

Last year she was hefty!
Daisy hunting tadpoles. 
She gets right in!
She is my shadow!

tadpole in May


DeniseinVA said...

This is a wonderful post, very interesting. What a huge frog!

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, I did wonder, Jenn!
Geraldine is a perfect new name for the former Jeremiah.
And I can't imagine kissing him/her, but Daisy seems to think it's a good idea. Maybe she's read about frogs turning into handsome princes.
Luv, K

Phil said...

Fascinating information and photos too. Those frogs sure are long when stretched out like that. Super pictures Jennifer.

TexWisGirl said...

handsome frog, whether male or female! :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Now I'm singing "Geraldine was a bullfrog..." doesn't quite scan. But she's a beauty.

W.C.Camp said...

Neat post and great shots of the tadpole and bull frog. I think you could market a very fun hand puppet that looks like the frog you are holding. W.C.C.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
That's one big frog...at what point are amphibians classified as toads, I wonder? I love that Daisy was happy to accept Gerry as a co-companion! YAM xx

Kay said...

That is a HUGE frog! Does Daisy eat the tadpoles?

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

No, Kay, the tadpole just take off into the deep part of the pond!