Adult frog eating tadpole, fighting frogs and toads, etc.

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mfb
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Adult frog eating tadpole, fighting frogs and toads, etc.

Post by mfb » May 20th, 2017, 11:28 am

Every couple weeks this spring I have been taking video at the same pond to document wood frogs from the mating season through egg and tadpole development, to metamorphosis and movement away from the pond. This is a small vernal pool in a forest. One day I noticed an adult male Green Frog sitting in the pond. A group of wood frog tadpoles slowly started swimming past it. Suddenly, it splashed under water and back up! Did I see what I thought I saw? I recorded for a few more minutes, and was able to get a clear video of the green frog catching and swallowing a wood frog tadpole. It also became clear that the Green Frog wasn't the perfect tadpole predator - quite a few tadpoles escaped its attacks.

Video of Male Green Frog eating Wood Frog Tadpoles:



I also had fun some nights watching spring peepers battling for territory. Here is an image of one male spring peeper chasing another away.
Image

Aggressive spring peeper
by Mike Benard, on Flickr

Here is a video of the same aggressive male peeper going after some other peepers:


A video showing a spring peeper starting with the advertisement call (the "peep" to attract females), then switching to the encounter call ("trill" to chase off other males).



Image to tell apart male and female peepers (thumbs don't work, so look at throat in breeding season):
Image

Telling apart male and female spring peepers
by Mike Benard, on Flickr

Some American Toad fights:



Calling male Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
I also have an older comparison of Gray Treefrog vs. Cope's Gray Treefrog.


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Carl Brune
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Re: Adult frog eating tadpole, fighting frogs and toads, etc

Post by Carl Brune » May 20th, 2017, 6:05 pm

That's very cool. Nice video of the Green Frog eating the Wood Frog tadpole. I have observed something related to this, look at http://www.ohio.edu/people/brune/ohio-13/ohio-13.html about 1/3 of the way down, taking about May 19... Very different story for toad tadpoles.

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mfb
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Re: Adult frog eating tadpole, fighting frogs and toads, etc

Post by mfb » May 21st, 2017, 11:58 am

Hi Carl,

That is really interesting that the wood frogs avoided the green frog but the toads didn't. In the vernal pool I watched, the wood frog tads didn't seem to notice the green frog when it was sitting still. They would just swarm around it until the green frog struck, then the tads would speed away. I wonder if the more complex (leaves, etc) environment of the pool hid the frog, whereas the simpler environment (no leaves in your pictures) made it easier for the tads to recognize the green frog?

By the way, your pool cover looks like it provides a great herp-watching experience!

Mike

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Carl Brune
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Re: Adult frog eating tadpole, fighting frogs and toads, etc

Post by Carl Brune » May 22nd, 2017, 5:50 pm

Mike, I agree with you. I don't think the tadpoles notice the frog in your "complex" habitat.

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Adult frog eating tadpole, fighting frogs and toads, etc

Post by BillMcGighan » May 28th, 2017, 3:27 am

I have to add "very cool", Mike.
Thanks for posting.


I recently watched some Spotted Salamander larvae doing the same thing, staying quietly at the edge of the tadpole swarm until one came into striking range.

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mfb
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Re: Adult frog eating tadpole, fighting frogs and toads, etc

Post by mfb » May 29th, 2017, 11:35 am

Thanks Bill!

I have never seen spotted or other salamander larvae eating tads, would love to see that sometime. There are also some jeffersons-complex Amybstoma larvae in the pond from this video, but they don't seem to get big enough in time to eat the wood larvae.

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