frog porn: the calls (and caresses) of the wild

wood frog pornLOVE IS IN THE AIR, BABY. FROG LOVE. My backyard is alive with the sounds, and sights, of the start of mating season, with a pair of wood frogs (above) leading the way. I’m trying to train my ear to tease apart who’s who in the cacophonous ensemble out back, and I got some help (thank you, internet!) from Dylan Cebulske of Illinois, a.k.a. “Herping With Dylan,” including this amazing video of his:

Now before you go thinking dirty thoughts about my wood frog friends up top, who by the way quack like ducks to my ear, know this:

They are simply engaged in amplexus (doesn’t that sound tame and scientific?), in which the male (in this species the smaller frog) clasps the larger female around the back. This goes on for some time, and they don’t seem to be one bit shy. The embrace began right out at poolside, where 15 other frogs were sunning themselves, including the few in the background of the photo below, before the happy couple retreated into the shrubbery onto a bed of pine needles.

wood frog porn 3

Everyone’s feeling frisky. The two bullfrogs who overwintered in one of my pools split Saturday night under cover of a giant rainstorm, as they do every year about this time, seeking a bigger body of water for breeding. My prediction: They’ll be back, on a wet fall night.

Other Frog Adventures

 

37 comments
April 18, 2011

comments

  1. Mary Ellen says

    One summer night years ago my husband and I were at the beach area on a Lake where I lived and there were hundreds of frogs (maybe even more) swimming through the water, onto the beach where they engaged in the same activity you show here. It is something I will never forget.

    • says

      Welcome, Mary Ellen. Amplexus — a long embrace for fertilizing the eggs outside the female’s body — is one of spring’s many miracles, isn’t it? Nice to “meet” you and hope you stop in again soon.

  2. Ken says

    Hi,
    I have a pond in my yard in Seattle and have 3 bullfrogs which laid eggs last year and I put them in a separate pot so the fish wouldn’t eat them. They did turn into tiny tadpoles, but they didn’t overwinter…any suggestions as to keep them alive over the winter? And also what to feed them? I read that tadpoles will eat lettuce, but they were so small, I am not sure they could eat the lettuce. I love hearing the frogs all day/night and when some people walk by, they really have no idea what the noise is…it’s pretty fun to have frogs in the city!
    Ken

    • says

      Hi, Ken. Did the water freeze over or stay “open” and unfrozen at least partway? If it freezes that can suffocate (no gas exchange through the ice). They also like some debris/muck/mud in the bottom I think. I don’t feed anybody — they feed themselves!

  3. Ken says

    Hi,
    It didn’t freeze completely as we usually have ‘mild’ winters here in the city, but it did have a thin layer on top at times…never completely covered. If I can get more eggs this year, I was thinking of bringing them in for the winter…do you think they ‘need’ the cold? Curious how I can get some more frogs…thanks!
    Ken

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