Monday, June 29, 2009

Cope's Gray Treefrog

It only takes the possibility of rain to bring the Cope’s Gray Treefrogs out in full force. Last night, treefrogs were checking out any cache of water large enough to fit their bodies into. Males were busy calling, announcing that they had claimed a small territory and were ready to mate.

Establishing a territory in the middle of a gravel driveway doesn’t seem to be the best strategy for survival.

This seems like a much more appropriate place to be calling for females. This photo gives a good view of the yellow coloring on the hind leg. There’s even a little yellow near the front leg.

The calling was quite intense. There were at least a dozen males calling from this one area. The sound made my head feel like it was vibrating.

This guy looks like he’s got a leaping frog tattoo on his back. He may be part of a local frog gang.

Several frogs spend the day at the top of our house wall, looking like little gargoyles wedged between the brick and the aluminum soffit.

Here is the result of the night’s courtship activities. This is a collection of several egg clusters.

A typical cluster contains three to four dozen eggs.

The eggs develop quickly in the warm water. These eggs were laid two days ago and will be ready to hatch in a couple more.

These tadpoles hatched about four weeks ago. This photo was taken at night and I was using my flashlight to focus on my subjects. I learned from this activity that Gray Treefrog tadpoles are attracted to light. Most of the specks in the water are daphnia, which are also attracted to light.

The light did a perfect job of illuminating the developing hind legs on this tadpole. These tadpoles will be turning into little frogs in about two weeks.

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