Monday, September 29, 2014

Florida frogs are singing in the rain

It has been a wet summer in central Florida and all this rain is getting frogs out and about like this green treefrog I saw peeking in my living room window. The Green Treefrog is one of the most common treefrogs found in Floridian nature. Green treefrogs don't seem to mind sharing their environment with people and are often spotted on windows or the exterior walls of homes. This species of frog doesn't croak but makes a sound more like a ringing bell. Usually vivid green, the Green Treefrog can change to brown quickly. The well defined strip that runs the length of its side makes identifying the Green Treefrog easy.

When a heavy evening rain is impending during the spring or summer, many frogs and toads begin to call. This is the first signal of intense breeding activity. Frogs and toads generally mate at night, since the darkness conceals them from sharp-eyed predators, especially wading birds. As rain starts to fall more and more frog voices are heard, until in certain places it becomes almost deafening.  Although it may seem like frogs are just singing for fun, it is actually the males who are calling to set up territories and to attract females. Most frogs in Florida breed and lay their eggs in shallow, temporarily flooded ponds, ditches, and depressions. Temporary water holes do not have large resident populations of predators, such as fish, salamanders, and water snakes, that would feed on the eggs or tadpoles because theses shallow pools usually dry up quickly.

 The Pig Frog is Florida's second largest frog. Pig Frogs are rarely found on land, being almost entirely aquatic. The Pig Frog gets his name from it's call, which sounds like a loud guttural grunting of a pig. The male pig frog calls while sitting on a lily pad or other floating vegetation. Like the bullfrog, the pig frog is often collected for it's edible hind legs. Pig Frogs main diet consists of crayfish. These frogs are olive to blackish brown and sometimes have prominent dark spots. Like most of the ranids, the pig frog has a white venter. But small flecks of brown or black can be found in its groin area. The Pig Frog's  webbing on the hind feet extends to the very tip of the longest toe

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