Endless Croaking FrogsI always hear those irritating sounds of frogs croaking just at the back of our house. The sounds are unlike those of the frogs I am used to hearing. They sound not like frogs but like cows, mooing albeit in short bursts of rhyming and alternating low and high pitches.I usually ignore these croaking sounds dismissing them as insignificant as I attend to my responsibility of writing a chapter for a project report. But the persistent frog calls finally got the best of me. I cannot explain the curiosity that pulls me off the chair, make me wear my rubber boots, and see what kind of frogs sound so loud that fills the whole house.Will I see something interesting if I try to explore the source of these exchange of high and low tone calls?Anyhow, I walked under the drizzles holding an umbrella with my left hand while my right hand tucks the camera snugly inside my jacket. It’s not a waterproof camera so I need to make sure it’s dry.
Patience is a VirtueI listened intently, curious what these irritating frogs look like. I slowly approached the interlink fence right beside the corner of our house, getting ready to encounter anything moving in the pool of water just behind a concrete post. I noticed that the sound gets faint while I approach. These frogs are so sensitive to intruders in their lair that they could sense my approach.Armed with previous knowledge of animal behavior, I stood still next to the post and patiently waited for the sound to resume. My patience, coupled with curiosity, paid off as I noticed a frog bob up the water and made a few bursts of low tones. I took ready to take a shot but it was gone, under the water, in a split second when it sensed I was approaching.I mustered another ounce of patience expecting another opportunity to come. And it did.I saw two frogs appear out of nowhere. The smaller one hopped with effort trying to whisk away (that’s what I thought) the bigger one on top of it. I presume that must be the female frog. There’s something on the riding frog’s mouth that attaches like a vacuum on the back of the one underneath and I could not actually make it out. It’s something sticky, the first I have ever seen. It’s as if the riding frog was swallowing the female which appears to be blind. A whitish membrane covered its eyes.I took a video and some shots of the interesting mating behavior. I provide a video below showing the two frogs as they make their way across rocks and grass. About three-fourths of the way, the frog underneath suddenly jumped bringing along its heavy load.[youtube=http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbzEf6H78iI&rel=0]If the frogs are not that clear in the video, I provide a picture below.
Eggs on Mouth?
The frog on top has something like eggs (?) on its mouth. Or maybe is it just an extension of its lips? But frogs have no lips, according to a science teacher. I tried to find out what these are using online references but I could not find one. It just says these frogs have very sticky secretions. This must be the main purpose, to cling on top of the female. But I am not quite sure if the one on top is really the male, not the female. A specialist should be able to tell.
This experience just demonstrates that if you have both curiosity and patience, you will discover something interesting. I should add patience as a characteristic of a good researcher. My feeling of excitement going after these frogs was immeasurable. I had an adrenalin rush, trying to get a good shot of a rare moment.
I should have done something further, that is, to catch the frogs and examine what is that thing projecting out of its mouth. I didn’t realize that until now.
Will I have the same opportunity again?
You might want to see a close-up shot of this frog which I already encountered last year hopping its way towards our door. This one is a juvenile.
© 2013 July 23 P. A. Regoniel