Pictures - Frog Life Cycle in a Water Feature
Male and Female Bronze Frog Reflect
There are many species of amphibians living in our habitat. One species that has chosen our rain garden and old pump fountain and kettle water feature as its home is called a Bronze frog (Rana clamitans clamitans). Bronze frogs are a subspecies of the Green Frog. This is the only type of Green frog inhabiting Louisiana.
For several years, a pair has courted and raised tadpoles in the water fountain feature near the rain garden. This year I took pictures of the the frogs and their eggs and tadpoles.
Eggs and Small Tadpoles
A Frog's Life Cycle
The cycle began after one of the two rainstorms that we had this spring. On the night of May 26th, a male and female Bronze frog met in the rain garden water feature. She laid hundreds of eggs in a clump and he fertilized them.
A few days later, the eggs hatched into tadpoles that were so tiny, the camera could not focus on them. By the time they were a week old, you could make out the wiggly black spots in the water. Mother frog stays close to the kettle and moist rain garden. Especially since we are experiencing a drought in Louisiana.
I will continue to take photographs as the tadpoles grow. The tadpoles usually take about 3 months to develop into frogs. Since these hatched out in late May, they will probably go through metamorphosis and grow into frogs by late summer or early September.
Tadpoles, About 12 Days Old
Tadpole With Back Legs
Tadpole With Back Legs Pictures
July 13 - A Tadpole With Legs
The Bronze frog tadpoles have grown quite large and at least one of them has grown back legs. They are eating algae from the leaves that are hanging over into the water. You can see the holes in the leaves.
Apparently, there were at least two different sets of eggs. Some of the tadpoles are very small, so they must have hatched out much later, probably in the last month.
The oldest tadpoles should develop into baby frogs in a month or so. I'll keep you posted.
NEWS FLASH! July 20
Some of the tadpoles have turned into frogs! I first saw one that still had a short tail. It was sitting on the edge of the iron pot. When I approached it jumped into the water and quickly swam across, exiting on the other side.
Now (on July 27) there are a few hopping around, but they are so small and fast, that I have been unable to get a clear picture. I'll keep trying between the rain storms. The frogs love this weather, but it makes it really hard to take pictures of the little ones.
Old Pump and Iron Kettle Water Feature
Ready Made Solar and Electric Water Pumps
Home Made Water Features
We created this water feature from an old kettle which was once used to boil and wash clothes, about 100 years ago, on my Mom's farm. The old hand pump, which is at least 50 years old, was given to us by the neighbors when they moved.
We bought a fitting for a pipe we had and ran clear, half inch plastic tubing up into the hand pump spout. At first the tubing was connected to a solar water pump that sat in the kettle. Now we have a regular electric water pump in the kettle that circulates the water.
In the spring or when ever frogs lay their eggs in the kettle, we use a leaky water hose that drips into the kettle to provide fresh water. Once the tadpoles turn into frogs, we will start running the circulating pump again on so that when we sit on the front porch, we can hear the soothing sound of the running water.
Bronze Frog Sunning
Froggy Children's Books
Bronze Frog Facts
Bronze frogs are a subspecies of the Green Frog, which is one of the most common of the True Frogs in the southeastern United States. Maximum length is about 3 inches.
Green and Bronze frogs are often confused with other true frogs like the Bullfrog, Pig frog, Leopard and Pickerel Frogs. You can tell them apart by looking at the ridges that extend from the eye on each side of the body. In Green and Bronze frogs, the ridges do not extend the entire length of the body.
Their banjo like call can be heard from ponds, ditches, streams and other wetland areas. One of the common names is the "Banjo Frog".
Adult frogs eat many creatures, including: beetles, flies, butterflies and dragonflies as well as invertebrates such as worms, crawfish and slugs. Spiders, millipedes, centipedes, smaller frogs and snails are also eaten. Tadpoles eat algae and rotting plants and sometimes the eggs of other frogs.
Bronze Frog Calling Video
Do you have Green Frogs or the Bronze subspecies in your area?
Bronze Frog in the Rain
Links to More About Amphibians
© 2011 Yvonne L. B.