Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Frogs Alive!

Common Frog, Rana temporaria
I shouldn't have doubted. The tadpoles in the 'temporary pool' that I didn't think would survive..... have survived. Not only survived but metamorphosed into frogs. None were visible in the puddle that sheltered them as tadpoles, but I spotted a number of them in the undergrowth next to it. It seems that the wetter than usual summer has been a boon for them, maintaining water bodies that may otherwise have dried up. Individuals were not more than 2 cm in length, as can be seen from the picture below. The frogs are about 4 months old, based on average spawning dates for Rana temporaria in Ireland (1) and the size of the tadpoles when they were first spotted in May. However, I wouldn't try to put an exact age on them based on size.

Common Frog, Rana temporaria
Other than the obvious external changes, R. temporaria adults also have quite different stomachs to their tadpole stage. The gastric mucosa is removed and a new adult, definitive one develops, along with peripheral connective and muscular tissues (2).

  1. Sterry, 2004. Collins Complete Guide to Irish Wildlife p. 94
    Rovira et al., 1995. Tissue Cell 27 pp. 13-22

1 comment:

  1. I used to have a small artificial lake at the garden when I was a child and it was always nice to follow the development of the tadpoles until they became those nice little frogs (from a different species, of course =) ).