Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wood Frog eggs

What: Wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) have been singing in Centennial Woods for about a week now (sounds like a bunch of ducks quacking). Yesterday I was out and found several egg masses in various stages of development.

Ecological notes: Along with spring peepers, wood frogs are one of our first amphibians to emerge in the spring. Spending their time literally frozen for the winter, they revive with warming temperatures and head from their upland overwintering sites down to their breeding ponds. With the upcoming cold weather, this should slow down the development of the eggs considerably, and the tadpoles won't emerge for another 10 days or so.

Where: Wood frogs breed in shallow seeps, cattail marshes, and vernal ponds (particularly fond of the latter) and just about anywhere else there aren't fish to eat their tadpoles.

Other notes: There was a couple of inches of water on top of a thick sheet of ice at the bottom - must have frozen all the way through this winter. The little "pool" of water is at the bottom of a seep and slowly filters into Centennial Brook. The water on top is probably from increased flow of water as frozen ground water has been melting.

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