Green Frog Blog

Green frogs sometimes strike out cross country in search of new ponds and new environments, boldly going where no frogs have gone before!

June 26, 2013 | | Blogs | Environment | Notes from the Wild

The green frog is probably the most abundant frog species in southern Ontario. Here in Headwaters, this adaptable amphibian can be expected in just about any permanent body of water.

Green frogs, despite spending much of their time sitting sphinx-like at the edge of ponds, live interesting lives.

Invest some time watching these beasts and you will realize they are far from pond-side statuary. Active predators, green frogs creep leopard-like towards prey and then pounce. Dragonflies are favourite prey.

I once watched green frogs feeding atop a bloated beaver carcass in a roadside ditch. The beaver had become a frog buffet with bluebottles and carrion beetles among the tastier offerings.

Green frogs are usually loathe to leave their watery haunts, but on warm, moist nights they sometimes strike out cross country in search of new ponds and new environments, boldly going where no frogs have gone before. Well not precisely. Chances are these wandering frogs are following in the webbed footfalls of other intrepid travellers before them.

Travel is a good way of mixing genes and thus maintaining healthy diversity in the green frog population. It’s also a good way to escape aggression.

Male green frogs, you see, are territorial and they fight over choice watery real estate. This belligerence likely peaks during the late spring – early summer mating season when males pluck their banjo string voices in local wetlands.

If two males of similar brawn desire the same patch of wetland they will engage in spirited scraps that resemble, for all the world, Mixed Martial Arts wrestling.

So behold the green frog – active epicurean, wandering spirit, wetland brawler and, unlike so many of its beleaguered peers, a 21st century amphibian success story.

greenFrogFemale greenfrogFemale2 greenFrogLookingAtYou greenFrogMale greenFrogMale2
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Green frog, male. Green frogs, despite spending much of their time sitting sphinx-like at the edge of ponds, live interesting lives.

About the Author More by Don Scallen

Don Scallen enjoys sharing his love of nature through his writing and presentations. Check out his blog "Notes from the Wild".

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Hi Don
    Reading your story of the green frogs feeding atop a bloated beaver carcass in a roadside ditch is quite fascinating, so I thought I would share a story equally so. I was hiking along a roadside in the Kolopore Uplands where there was a stream along side of the road. Always curious to see what is floating along, I must have scared a little mouse from the meadow to the side of the ditch/stream. That green frog did not hesitate to pounce on that mouse. I felt privileged to see such an act of nature, but at the same time, it was very disconcerning to see a mouse squealing for its life, as the frog eventually swallowed it up whole. It took him a few gulps to do so, and I even believe he “bit off more than he could chew” The mouse eventually gave up the fight, but probably because it suffocated with it being head first in the frogs mouth. The frog just sat there, with a little bit of the mouse’s feet sticking out as well as the end of its tail poking out of its mouth. I had my camera with me and was able to fire off a couple of shots of the whole ordeal. Its not something I will forget any time soon, that’s for sure!

    Pamela on Jul 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for this observation Pamela!

      I’ve seen pictures of larger frogs swallowing mice, but not a green frog. It doesn’t surprise me though – if a prey animal can fit in a frog’s mouth, it is fair game. Thank you for this and have a fine summer exploring nature!

      Don

      Don Scallen on Jul 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Reply

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