Tree Frog Tadpoles 2023


In 2023, I managed to keep the juvenile green frogs (L. clamitans) out of the breeding tanks, and so the tree frogs (H. chrysoscelis) were able to reproduce without interference.

There was an eight-week drought in April and May, and so I suspected the year might be a disaster for wildlife, but when the rains came in June, the tree frogs started spawning and spawned most nights into July.

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Eutrophic Collapse


Eutrophication is when the phytoplankton population explodes and depletes all the oxygen and kill all or most of the animals.

This happens when nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients build up and cause the algae to bloom.

The ecology in Experiment Tank #6 crashed from Eutrophic Collapse.

How did it get overwhelmed with nitrogen and phosphorus?

Because so many frogs laid so many clutches of eggs in it. Clutch after clutch.

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Young Adult Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)


This is a young adult Green Frog. It is much smaller than the old blue-faced males in the ponds, but it is still an adult and reproductively active, capable of laying a clutch of several hundred eggs in a night:

20220615-frog-eggs. This clutch of eggs was laid by a single pair of young Green Frogs of the same size and age as the frog shown above.

Experiment Tanks


I had some downcycled plastic barrels that I had previously used as rain barrels before discovering how much maintenance it took to ensure mosquitoes weren’t reproducing in them.

I cut these in half and plugged any holes and set up eight of these as breeding tanks for mosquito fish and tree frogs on my back patio.

The total volume of material in each tank is less than 15 to 20 gallons, with a rim of about 10 inches extending above the top of the water.

I added water and clay to each of these tanks and then seeded the microflora and fauna with mud and water samples from the ponds.

I let that brew for a week, and then I added plugs of aquatic plants from the ponds: water hyacinth, elodea, duckweed, and hair algae.

I also added more clay and topsoil for the minerals and to increase the biomass.

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Frog Eggs: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

20220629 Eggs of Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) apparently lays larger clutches than I have seen in the past.

Previously, all the clutches I observed were smaller and broken up into different clumps separated by floating vegetation.

I speculated that was because the mating parents were avoiding the larger Green Frogs.

I’m not sure why the eggs in tank #4 are so numerous and all clumped in one area the same way the clutches of Green Frog eggs have been.

I certainly hope this isn’t because this is the first clutch laid where the parents weren’t pursued.

20220629 Eggs of Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) v2
20220629 Eggs of Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) v2

Note that these eggs were laid within the past 12 hours and the yolk is still spherical. Within 24 hours the yolks will become flattened embryos.

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Videos of Tadpoles Swimming in Experiment Tank #6


At the bottom of this post are two videos of tadpoles of the Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans) swimming in experiment tank #6. One video is from June 27, 2022, and the second is from June 30.

Juvenile Green Frogs have laid several clutches of eggs in all eight experiment tanks. Cope’s Gray Tree Frogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) have also laid several clutches of eggs in every tank as far as I can tell.

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