Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wood Frog and Vernal Pools

Besides spending most of yesterday getting ready for my Costa Rica trip, I went back again and spent a portion of the afternoon at a vernal pool.  There was much more activity in the pools, secondary to the warmer weather that we've had for the last couple of days.  You could hear the wood frogs singing in the water offering their welcome to the spring.  As you approach the pool their vocalization stops, however, if you remain still they will start up again.

They are starting to lay their eggs to help them fulfill their lifecycle, they eggs hatch in about a month into tadpoles and in about two months afterward, little wood frogs will appear.

 There were also various larvae in the pool including dragonfly larvae and beetle larvae.  here is a photography of a beetle larvae. Beetle larvae feed on both invertebrates and vertebrates animals in the pool, so even wood frog tadpoles can be their prey.

Some vernal pools persist for a long time and others disappear earlier in the season, depending on the rain.  The creatures that live in the vernal pool need to complete their life cycles before the pool dries up.  Vernal pools are a very interesting habitat to investigate.  Remember if you remove something from the pole returned to the pool.  Everything that I removed for photographing was returned to the same pool that it was taken from.