Wood Frogs Celebrate Spring 2021

Wood Frogs return to the Vernal Pool at High Point Preserve

What brings the feeling that Spring has finally arrived? Geese formations flying North? Robins on the lawn?
Wondering if you will consider the Wood Frog?
For an amphibian that freezes over the winter, the Wood Frog is usually among the first amphibians to find the vernal pools and celebrate the arrival of Spring with their ‘cluck-like’ calls.
This video shows perspectives and audio from above the water surface and from below. The smaller male Wood Frogs compete to grasp onto the back (this is called “amplexus”) of the female filled with eggs. Sometimes multiple males are struggling to stay with the same female frog. Fertilization is external and the timing and proximity are important, since the egg must be fertilized before the gel-like mass surrounding the egg swells by absorbing water. After the eggs are laid, the adult Wood Frogs return to the forest, leaving the eggs, and later tadpoles, to survive on their own. Youtube link to the Wood Frog video: https://youtu.be/bxY7sGCfLP0

This vernal pool was created at the Butterfly garden at the High Point Preserve in 2006 and it has become a favorite breeding spot for our local amphibians. To read more about the biology of the Wood Frog, here is a link to a good article: https://www.dept.psu.edu/nkbiology/naturetrail/speciespages/woodfrog.htm? The communal egg masses are impressive, some of which float to the surface. The other vernal pool residents you will see in this video are the: Eastern Red Spotted Newt ( https://www.paherps.com/herps/salamanders/eastern_newt) and the predaceous Diving Beetle (https://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/VernalPool_Invertebrate.aspx)

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