View source for Rana clamitans melanota - Green Frog
'''''Rana Clamitans Melanota''''' - The Green Frog or pond frog, as it is sometimes called, are one of New England’s larger frogs. Green frogs are known for their long powerful hind legs, which make them an excellent jumper. They are mostly seen on the sides of streams or estuaries jumping at the hint of alarm. [[Image:Green_frog_in_FRW_created_Pond_JR.jpg|frame|Adult Green Frog. Image source: Gilliland, 2000]] == Description == Contrary to its name, the coloration of green frogs varies (green, brown, bronze or rarely blue) depending on its habitat region (Gibbs, et al., 2007). Sometimes these frogs are mistaken for bullfrogs but green frogs have two skin folds that is often golden that extends from the eye down along each side, where as bullfrogs do not (Gilliland, 2000). The underbelly is white, overlain by a dark pattern of lines and spots. Males usually have a bight yellow through during mating season. Their skin is very smooth and moist in order to absorb oxygen through the skin to their lungs and then releases carbon dioxide. The hind feet are webbed to the tips of the toes, with the exception of the fourth toe, which has the last two joints free (Harding, 1997 & Epple, 1983). Adult green frogs length range from 2.5-2.5 inches (5.5-9 cm), with a maximum length of 4.225 inches (10.8cm) (Gibbs, et al., 2007). Males tend to be one inch smaller than females (Epple, 1983). Green frogs are active during the day but primarily at night. During the winter months they hibernate in the mud. These frogs are mainly solitary, except during the breeding season, when they congregate at breeding spots (Gibbs, et al., 2007). Green frogs can produce as many as six different calls, used to attract females for mating, protect their territory or warn others against predators (Gilliland, 2000). == [[Range]] and [[Habitat]] == [[Image:Ran_clam.jpg|frame|right| Range of Green Frog in United States. Image Source: Department of Environmental Conservation]] Green frogs are native to the eastern half of the United States and Canada, residing all over New York State. These frogs live a solitary life in permanent shallow waters, such as ponds, marshes, lake fringes and sometimes on the sides of streams (Gibbs, et al., 2007). Juveniles may venture into wooded areas or meadows during times of rain (Gilliland, 2000). Adults require permanent water for breeding, so that tadpoles can hibernate in the soil during the winter months. During the winter green frogs hibernates in the mud, under debris or stones (Epple, 1983). == [[Resource Acquisition]] == Green frogs are primarily carnivores and eat a wide variety of insects and other invertebrates from both land and water, such as slugs, snails, crayfish, spiders, flies, caterpillars, butterflies and moths (Gilliland, 2000). They also eat other vertebrates, such as small snakes and frogs. Adult frogs “sit and wait” for their prey to come with in reach. Tadpoles mainly eat diatoms, algae and zooplankton (Harding, 1997). Both tadpole and adult frog due not feed for several months out of the year due to hibernation in the winter months. == Reproduction == [[Image:Grnfrg.jpg|frame|left|Male frog during breeding season. Image Source: Kent, 2003]] At the end of May, when the breeding season approaches, the males begin their mating calls. The vocal sacs are internal, making their sides and throat grow larger to create a banjo-like sound (Epple, 1983). Female green frogs choose their mates based on the quality of egg-laying sites within the male’s territory, usually in a semi-permanent or permanent freshwater habitat protected by vegetation (Gibbs, et al., 2007). Breeding season is from late March to August, females laying two egg masses in one season. Once a female chooses a male, amplexus is initiated, and both then engage in egg deposition and fertilization. Approximately 1000 to 7000 eggs that are laid float for 3-5 days on the water’s surface or hang from aquatic vegetation. Tadpoles metamorphose in 3 months to 2 years, depending on environmental temperature and food supply (Gibbs, at al., 2007 & Gilliland, 2000). [[Image:EX_grfrtadpole1_se.jpg|frame|left| Tadpole. Image Source: Gilliland, 2000]] == Defenses & Natural Enemies == Green frogs are preyed upon by a variety of animals, as adults they are eaten by larger frogs, turtles, snakes, herons, and other wading birds, raccoons and otters. As tadpoles and eggs they preyed upon by leeches, dragonfly larvae, other aquatic insects, fish, turtles and herons (Harding, 1997). Green frogs often look much like mink frogs, forming a mimicry relationship. Mink frogs have a musky skin secretion that makes them foul tasting to predators. Green frogs do not have a foul taste, but use their resemblance to Mink frogs to avoid being preyed upon (Gilliland, 2000). Mink frogs "Rana septentrionalis" are found in the same range as Green frogs, the Northeast to Midwest United State and are present in Northern New York (Kent, 2007) == The Human Factor == Humans have a huge impact on the environment as we all know, but the exact details are not always apparent. A study done in Wisconsin shows how the shoreline development on adult green frogs. Populations on lakes with shoreline homes are significantly than those in lakes little or no development. There is not an exact linear relationship between homes and frog densities but this study does show how development decreases breeding habitat quality, resulting in a lower adult population (Woodford, J., 2003) Another study, conducted by two scientists (Marc Mazerolle and Mario Cormier) on effects of peat mining on green frog populations, shows how some disturbance is beneficial for the breeding of green frogs. Their study focused on three areas, 1) Mined peat bogs with no vegetation, 2) some disturbance of drainage ditches but vegetation intact and 3) a natural environment. The result of this experiment estimated that breeding occurred more often in moderately disturbed environments, than in the other two environments. Frog populations did not exist at all in the mined bogs while some remained in the natural environment. The drainage ditches of the disturbed area provided a adaptive environment for the frogs to lay their eggs, but these sites are only temporary before they are mined. In conclusion, peat bog mines need to create a buffer zone around the mining area to provided habitats for amphibians that will eventually help to restore the bog once mining is over (Mazerolle & Cormier, 2003). == '''References''' == Epple, Anne O. The Amphibians of New England. Maine: Down East Books, 1983. Gibbs, James P., et al. The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State. New York: Oxford Press, 2007. Gillilland, M. "Rana clamitans" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 15, 2008 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Rana_clamitans.html. Harding, J. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press. 2000 Kent, Breck P. 2007. http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?recnum=AR0543 Woodford, James E. and Meyer, Michael W. Impact of Lakeshore Development on Green Frog Abundance. Biological Conservation; V. 110; issue 2; April 2003; pp. 277-284 Mazerolle MJ, Cormier M (2003) Effects of Peat Mining Intensity on Green Frog (RANA CLAMITANS) Occurrence in Peat Bog. Wetlands: Vol. 23, No. 4 pp. 709–716 http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7487.html. 2008, New York State department of Environmental Conservation. (Accessed April 29,2008)
Rana clamitans melanota - Green Frog
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