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Hopping, Jumping, Peeping, Croaking, and Splashing. It's That Time Again!

By Bill Willis and Amanda Weaver

August 17, 2018

green tree frog
This green Tree Frog literally sprang upon the scene at the 110 Warehouse Retention Pond.

Low areas, like our retention basin, often fill with water after a good rainstorm. If this temporal, or short-term, water body remains for weeks, a female frog or toad may deposit egg masses in it. A "traditional" tadpole-in-the-water type life cycle will evolve.

That gelatinous egg mass with the embryos (called frogspawns) will change dramatically. Within days the embryos develop into a swarm of fish-like oval bodied tadpoles. The pollywogs, as they are also called, have gills and are predominately herbaceous, eating algae, during their aquatic phase. Eventually they’ll reabsorb their tail and grow legs and lungs. This is a process called metamorphosis. When legs are completely formed, they emerge from the water as air breathing miniature adult amphibians. After frogs emerge, the ground around the pond will literally be hopping and jumping with life.

If you want to raise your own tadpoles, it is possible to collect an egg mass and raise tadpoles, frogs and toads in an aquarium. The frog spawn is a gelatinous clump, deposited, partially submerged, at the edge of the water. The toad spawn is a double row strand of eggs entangled in aquatic vegetation. The time required reaching “little adult” is dependent on species, food availability, and water temperature. Be sure to provide a way for the young to get out of the water to prevent drowning and release them into a suitable habitat. While the frogs will return to the water, the toads will not. Both the toads and frogs are now carnivorous.

All critters photographed for this article were returned unharmed to their point of collection.

young frogs on plants
Young frogs awaiting the opportunity for a good meal.
tadpoles
A close inspection of this picture reveals some of the tadpoles.
water and algae
Water and algae were available all spring for the developing toads and frogs.
frogs on plants in summer
Later this summer, these frogs will brighten the night with their calls.
frog habitat
Plants requiring moist soil conditions have sprung up and will provide a good habitat for the frogs.
arrowheads and reeds
Arrowheads and reeds provided cover and protection for the tadpoles in the retention pond.
tadpole pond
Water covered the bottom of the retention pond thus allowing the development of tadpoles.
tiny frogs
Toads were outnumbered at the pond by the true frogs. These little guys are really good jumpers and climbers.
toads
These two toads were among the many amphibians observed at the 110 Warehouse retention ponds. They are terrestrial and will be found on the ground.
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