Sunday, 24 February 2008

Common frog, Rana temporaria

There have been a few frogs croaking in the pond for a few days. The first ones back to the pond are males and they attract the females back by "singing" to them. This is a low purring croak (not "rabit-rabit", there is one species that makes this sort of noise but it comes from the Americas). Until yesterday I hadn't seen any spawn. This has really changed now. This morning I could see dozens of eyes poking out of the water. When I approached too close they all disappeared. Chris next (her next door) hates frogs and normally shouts for me to get them out of her garden when she finds the, she blames me for their wandering into her garden. Despite my efforts to convince her that they are natural pest controllers she will be on the war path soon.

The Common Frog can breathe through its skin. This enables it to hibernate for several months beneath piles of mud and decaying leaves underwater. Normally they come out of hibernation a bit later than this year.

A closer look showed that already there is loads of frog spawn. This happened last year and then we got bad weather and a frost and nearly all the spawn died. I saw very few tadpoles, so I think I might take some action this year to preserve some of the spawn in a tank in a frost free place be fore replacing it.
A successful male will wrap his forelimbs around the female in a mating embrace known as 'amplexus'. Each female lays 1000-4000 eggs at a time, which are fertilised by the male as they are released. The spawn takes about 30-40 days to develop under the warm sun before the tadpoles emerge.
A look in the bay confirmed that the reasonable weather had brought a lot of people out to see the sea. In the Bay was this attractive yacht. A close look showed that it had the name Entropy. This is an interesting name and took me back a few decades to the time I learnt about the second law of thermodynamics. I think that entropy is "a quantitative measure of the amount of thermal energy not available to do work". I can also be defined as "Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society." So a strange name for a yacht, but perhaps an comment on the state of the world.

This notice on a window in the village is in aid of a great cause, but it made me smile as I can't even get into the starting position, let alone run a mile. I'll have to try once I've had my defunct knee replaced.


Deslilas said...

Frogs and batracians have started their migration for giving birth to babies here, many will be killed when they cross the roads. Some associations try to protect them. I'll post some pics showing how they work.

Dean ( mostlymacro blog ) said...

Tony, i usually cover my pond with garden fleece, if frost is forecast. It`s never let me down yet.

Enjoying the blog btw.