Friday, 25 December 2015

A total behavioral scandal for Green Frogs - this is the debate!

We've been having unusual frog behaviour this December. They should be frozen in the depths of the water. Instead, they wake up and sit on the log in the goldfish pond.
A discussion has ensued! It's very interesting. So many people know so much about these little things. I have learned a new word: Amplexus.
Amplexus is froggie mating behaviour. This is not that, they think! Not at this time of year.
Here they are today, huddling for warmth.

Fred Schueler are these Wood Frogs or Green Frogs? Over the years we've seen that in El Nino springs Wood Frogs tend to lay eggs prematurely in ruts and small bits of water, which are then killed by freezing or drying - but I've never seen them in amplexus in the fall - be sure this is reported to the Atlas
LikeReply13 hrs
Jennifer Jilks It's hard to tell what they are, Fred! They are so dark now. I'm not sure it's amplexus, or just snuggling for warmth! They jumped into the water when the cat strolled by.
LikeReply3 hrs
Peterson B-Mills These are Green Frogs, and they are actually not in amplexus. The upper frog would have his forelimbs wrapped beneath the lower one, and true frogs don't engage in amplexus unless floating. I think the one is probably just making use of the other as perch.
LikeReply32 hrs
Fred Schueler that's what it looks like - it would be a total behavioral scandal for Green Frogs to be in amplexus now or for Wood Frogs to jump into water - but Wood Frogs do indulge in terrestrial amplexus fairly frequently on the way to the breeding ponds - Schueler, Frederick W. and R. Michael Rankin 1982. Terrestrial amplexus in the Wood Frog, Rana sylvatica. Canadian Field-Naturalist 96:348-349. and Schueler Frederick W., and Aleta Karstad 1996. Terrestrial Amplexus in the Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens. Trail and Landscape 30(2):68-69.
LikeReply31 hr
December frogs from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

These are from March, 2012

It is normal springtime behaviour! Not in December!


William Kendall said...

They must be so confused right now.

Red said...

This is all very interesting particularly when we have very few frogs left here in Alberta. It's very surprising that you have so many frogs.