Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cannibal Frog

Yesterday I assumed the ruckus in my pond was another frog fight until I discovered our largest pond frog, "Bubba", with a pair of frog legs jutting from his mouth. According to Wikipedia, Green Frogs will "consume anything that can fit in its mouth, such as: crickets, flies, fish, crayfish, shrimp, grasshoppers, smaller frogs, tadpoles, small snakes, birds, mollusks, moths, and their own cast skin." I managed to grab my camera and get him on film just as he swallowed the feet (see below). Update August 14: Bubba was recently seen eating one of my goldfish, the tail hanging out of his mouth. This frog will eat anything that moves. Update October 2007, I've been told this one is a Bull Frog because it doesn't have ridges (see comments). If she's eating the Green Frogs, does that mean she's not a cannibal?

Green Frogs (Rana clamitans) are the classic pond frog in Shelton. Build a pond in your yard, and they will come in no time at all, adding a rather silly sort of charm to the pond. The males will puff out their yellow throats and starting singing only a few feet away from you, and they'll get into crazy frog fights. If you startle them, they yelp while making a comical leap.

Because most animals find their taste repulsive and do not eat them, the frogs are incredibly tame (my children have even managed to pet them on occasion). Dogs vomit after picking them up. Even the tadpoles taste bad. A few years ago I drained the level of my pond overnight to 6", with catastrophic consequences. By the next morning, the raccoons had reduced my goldfish and koi to nothing but a few scales. But the ground was littered with dead Green Frog tadpoles, each one having been tasted and then tossed aside.

They get so big that people often mistake them for bullfrogs. I frequently see them in our lakes, rivers, and puddles. The tadpole are also huge - several inches long, and they take over a year to mature.

1 comment:

MikeFuture said...

The Frog in the video is actually a Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). They are very similar to Green Frogs, but there is one visible difference. Green Frogs have two prominent dorsolateral ridges running along their back. In the video, you can see the frogs back is smooth, making it a Bullfrog. Looks to be a female.