Animals

Grass frog

Rana temporaria is an amphibian class, a genus and a family of frogs, a tailless squad. Translated into Russian - grass frog. Habitat - steppe, forest-steppe, coast of reservoirs, forests, wet swampy places. The life span of an amphibian is long enough, in nature - about 5 years, in captivity - it can reach 15-18 years.

Common frog: description

There are three subspecies of the grass frog: Rana temporaria parvipalmata, Rana temporaria honnorati, Rana temporaria temporaria. They differ only in habitats and color. The grass frog has a squat body, the length of which can reach 10 cm. The average weight of an amphibian is about 22.5 g. Of course, there are also larger individuals that weigh up to 30 g, but in nature they are a rarity. The color of the backrest varies depending on the habitat. From above the grass frog can be gray, olive or reddish-brick shade. A distinctive feature of an amphibian is a well-defined dark brown triangle near the eardrum. On the sides and back of the frog there are small (1-3 mm) dark spots. There is a marble-like pattern on the dark abdomen. The grass frog, as a rule, has brown eyes with black horizontal pupils of the eye, however, there are albino specimens with red eyes. During the mating period, males acquire a lighter color, while females, on the contrary, become darker. Amphibian skin is smooth, slightly slippery, the epidermis does not keratinize.

Behavior in nature

The greatest activity of the grass frog is different in the evening and at night. Daily activity can occur only in cloudy weather or in moist shady places. On a sunny day, a frog hides under stones, in dense vegetation, in stumps. With the onset of cold weather, when the air temperature drops below 6 0 C, the activity stops. Winter frogs are sent in large groups, the number of which is from a few dozen to hundreds. They select places for wintering scrupulously. As a rule, these are non-freezing rivers with a muddy bottom, roadside grooves or wetlands. The group tries to overcome the distance to the wintering site in one day, usually it is no more than one and a half kilometers from the summer habitat. If conditions of hibernation deteriorate, the group leaves the selected area, selecting a more suitable place.

Young frogs are sent for wintering later, some of them can be found even in November. During the hibernation period, the frogs sit on their hind legs, they cover their heads with their front legs, turning them up with their palms up. The hibernation period lasts about 155 days. At this time, the frogs go on skin respiration. If the reservoir selected as a wintering site freezes to the bottom, then the whole group may die.

Many fans of amphibians are interested in what the grass frog eats. Favorite delicacy of adult individuals - flies, slugs, dragonflies, midges, snails. They hunt them with a sticky long tongue. Tadpoles mostly prefer plant food. They feed on detritus, algae. During the mating season, the frog does not eat.

Breeding

Sexually mature frogs become 3 years old. Reproduction can occur in any shallow body of water: in puddles, ditches, lakes. Spawning begins 3-5 days after hibernation, in April-May. Males come to the reservoir earlier. Partners, they tout with the help of marriage "songs." The frogs begin to mate on the way to the spawning grounds. At this time, all the eggs of females are ovulated and located in the thin-walled, stretched oviduct section, ready for laying. After spawning, females leave the spawning site. The laying of the frog is a clump of tightly stuck shells. One individual lays 650-1400 eggs.

Calf of frogs feed on many birds, for example: mallard, common newt, large spindle, sviyaz, black tern, gray duck. Tadpoles are hunted by the white-browed thrush, the magpie, the swimming beetle, the roller bug, the blackbird thrush. Adults feed on black stork, Gray Shrike, Rough-legged Owl, Owl, Viper, Goshawk, Gull, Spotted Eagle, Shrike. In the springtime wolves can eat frogs.

Grass frog: maintenance and care

To keep a grass frog at home, it is recommended to purchase a sufficiently large aquaterrarium (at least 30 liters). If this is not possible, you can buy an ordinary aquarium, which is filled with water, but put in it wood or foam, which will stay on the surface. This is done so that the animal can spend part of the time out of the water. It is advisable to squander the leaves or stems of any aquatic vegetation on these "islands of land" so that the frog can hide from the light. At the bottom of the aquarium also need to put aquatic vegetation. Since in nature the frog is not too demanding to the place of residence, it is quite simple to keep it in captivity. The water in the aquarium can be changed once a week to 1/3, but only once a month completely. Additional lighting or heating is also not required. You can feed your pet at home with cockroaches, flies, crickets, bloodworms, and strawsmith. From time to time a frog can be given small pieces of raw meat. Young individuals are fed lettuce or scalded nettle leaves.

Population status

Many factors cause the death of frogs. These primarily include: pollution of water bodies with harmful substances and household waste, heavy traffic. In addition, a huge number of frogs is caught annually for laboratory experiments and for lovers of terrariums. The destruction of forests, industrial pollution of the environment have led to the fact that in some places the frogs have completely disappeared.

In its development, the grass frog goes through several stages. Tadpoles hatch from eggs. Later, they grow their fore and hind limbs and light lungs are formed, which allows them to reach the land

Family - Real toad

Rod / Species - Rana temporaria

Length: males - 8 cm, females-10 cm, frogs - up to 3 cm.

Puberty: with 2-3 years.

Mating period: the beginning of spring.

Number of eggs: 680-1 400.

Development: from tadpole to young frog 50-90 days.

Habits: except for the mating season, they are kept alone.

What feeds on: small insects, flies, beetles and crickets, as well as snails, centipedes and worms.

Lifespan: in captivity up to 12 years.

The family of true frogs also includes pointed, nimble and edible frogs.

The grass frog belongs to the order of tailless amphibians. Being a tadpole, she breathes with the help of gills. Later, the frog forms lungs with which it breathes atmospheric air. The grass frog can breathe through wet skin, due to which it survives the winter under water.

WHAT EATS

Adult frogs eat snails, beetles, spiders, crustaceans, centipedes and worms. In the fall, they eat more feed, preparing for the winter. Grass frogs find their prey by sight. They are closely following the movements of potential prey. Most of the food frog gets on land. Insects that fly are only 18% of its menu. Scientists have noticed that the intensity of feeding of frogs depends on the season. In spring, during the breeding season, grass frogs “fast”.

Reproduction

The grass frog spends most of its life away from water, but regularly returns to its birthplace in order to give birth to a new generation. In spring, males sing mating "songs". Males of all species of frogs on their front paws during the breeding season form so-called mating corns, with which they hold females during mating. The male climbs back to the female and strongly clings to it. In this position they remain until the female spawns and the male fertilizes her. Having spawned, the frogs diverge in summer habitats. After 8-10 days, tadpoles appear, and after 50-90 days - frogs.

The grass frog lives practically in all regions where there are various reservoirs. It can be found on meadows, in forests, in swamps and along the banks of rivers, lakes and ponds. The grass frog often appears in the gardens. In summer, frogs are active at night, but in some cases they can move during the day. Sometimes during the day they even bask in the sun.

Grass frogs in the afternoon most often hide among dense vegetation that protects them from the sun. The period from November to February, the frog spends in a wet place, hiding in the compost or under water. During the wintering period, the grass frog sits in a typical posture, with its hind legs, and the front ones seem to cover their heads. She is the first of the frogs to wake up from hibernation.

The grass frog has quite a few natural enemies, for example, these are hedgehogs, ferrets, badgers, common snakes and owls. Thin skin and the absence of any protective equipment or "chemical weapons" makes it a tasty prey for almost all predatory animals. Tadpoles of the grass frog are eaten in large quantities by fish, ducks, salamanders and various aquatic insects. Man is also the enemy of the grass frog. Every year thousands frogs are used as experimental animals.

In France, grass frogs are considered a delicacy and are used as a dish. The protection of this species of frogs consists mainly in the conservation of their natural habitats.

Observations for the Frog

Grass frogs can be observed in the spring. From March to May, they travel to the reservoirs. Grass frogs are easily recognizable by their voice - at this time males sing mating songs. Tadpoles develop in shallow water bodies. In August, the number of these amphibians increases on the banks of reservoirs. These are young frogs with a length of only 2-3 cm, which are already ready for life outside the reservoir. In the summer and autumn months, grass frogs can be found almost everywhere, even in flowerbeds, where they look for worms and slugs. It differs from other frog species in the length of its hind legs and head shape.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The grass frog has strong hind limbs. They help her jump and hide from the enemy.
  • Adult frogs are starving during the mating season.
  • Some amphibians have Peter Pen's syndrome, which is called neoteny. This means that they remain tadpoles for the rest of their lives (that is, they do not develop into adults).
  • The skin color of the grass frog varies in case of danger.
  • Of the six species of frogs that are found in Central Europe, three are brown in color and are terrestrial.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A HERBAL FROG

The female lays a clump of eggs (there may be 680-1400 eggs). A lump is caused by gluing the egg shells.

The rate of development of eggs depends on the temperature of the water. After a few days, tadpoles begin to grow in them and a black silhouette becomes visible through the walls.

After another 8-10 days, tadpoles hatch from eggs. They feed on algae. Another 12-14 days pass, and their hind and fore limbs begin to grow, and the tail disappears. The gills turn into lungs, so animals can get out of the water and breathe air. Frogs come out of the water in June and return there only after 2-3 years in the mating season. The development of tadpoles of the common frog lasts on average 50-90 days. The exact time depends on the temperature.


- Habitat of grass frog

The grass frog is common in England, Central Europe (in Northern Scandinavia) and Siberia in the east.

PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION

At the beginning of the twentieth century, grass frogs were quite numerous. Today, their number is reduced due to pollution of the natural environment with pesticides and detergents. Many individuals die under the wheels of cars.

Common frog: photo and description of the appearance

The body weight of an adult individual is 20-22 g, length - 6-10 cm. There are rare specimens with a weight of 30 g. The skin of most frogs of this species has a light brown tint, but most often their color depends on the habitat. You can also find an amphibian of dark red, olive and gray. On the back and sides there are specks 1-3 mm in diameter. To the touch the skin is smooth and slippery. On the belly there is a marble-like pattern. With the beginning of spring and the mating period, the skin of females in the throat area becomes dark in color, and the males, on the contrary, have a light blue tint. Compared to the body, the hind legs are rather short.

The muzzle of the grass frog is round, the eyes are brown with black pupils. One of its distinguishing features is a well-marked dark brown triangle next to the eardrum. Pupils in frogs are horizontal, some representatives are born with red eyes.

Habitats

This amphibian is found in Europe. The exceptions are the Iberian Peninsula, the Caucasus, the Crimea, the southern part of Italy and the Balkan Peninsula. Western Siberia and the Urals are considered the boundary of the range. For Ireland, the grass frog is the only representative of this species that can be found in the country.

In the north, the boundary of the range ends near Scandinavia and the Kola Peninsula. In 2005, this species of amphibians was seen in the southern part of Kamchatka. The adaptation of the grass frog to climatic conditions allows it to winter exclusively in non-freezing water bodies. Amphibious can be found in the wetlands, forest glades, meadows and forest edges.

What does the grass frog eat?

The diet of an adult individual includes worms, midges, flies, dragonflies, snails, slugs and other invertebrates. They hunt with a long sticky tongue. Also, what the grass frog feeds on directly depends on the territory where it lives. Most of the feed she finds, being on land. Tadpoles feed on plant foods (algae) and detritus.

It is also noteworthy that during the mating season, amphibians of this species practically do not eat. In autumn, grass frogs consume more feed, thus preparing for winter.

Lifestyle

Amphibious activity falls in the evening and night. Awake during the day in case of cloudy weather or the presence of shady places. The rest of the time frogs hide in stumps, under stones or in dense thickets. They prefer to keep apart, apart from the spawning period.

Wintering at an amphibian begins when the air temperature is + 6⁰ С and lower. Cold experienced in large groups, which can include from a dozen to hundreds of individuals. They usually spend the winter on swampy areas, muddy rivers, or in roadside grooves. The distance from the old and new habitats usually does not exceed one and a half kilometers. In case of deterioration of living conditions in the previously selected area, the group leaves it and selects another place.

During hibernation, the grass frog sits on the tucked hind legs and covers its head with its front, previously twisted palms up. The duration of wintering is usually 155-160 days.

Security status

At any stage of development, the grass frog has many natural enemies who are not averse to feasting on it. For example, the threat to the life of an adult individual can carry vipers, common snakes, storks, ravens, owls, magpies, owls, catfish and pikes. Mammals such as wolves, foxes, minks and weasels also pose a danger to mature amphibians. In addition, the eggs of frogs are considered by their food to be a newt, duck, tern, mallard and spindle. Tadpoles are eaten by beetles-beetles, blackbirds, mountain ash, roller coats, etc.

At the beginning of the last century, these frogs were much more than today. The reason for the sharp reduction in the number of individuals lies in the pollution of the natural environment, especially water bodies, detergents and pesticides. Many adult frogs die on the roads. A huge number of them are caught and used as experimental animals. Deforestation has led to the complete disappearance of frogs in some areas of their habitat.

Content in the room

Provide proper care to the amphibian can be at home. To do this, first of all you need to purchase a large size aquaterrarium with a capacity of at least 50 liters. After you fill the tank with water, place in it non-sinking “islands” of foam or wood. These areas are needed in order for the animal to be able to get to the land when necessary. Equip the surface of the "islands" and the bottom of the aquarium with water stems and leaves. The presence of vegetation is necessary for the frog to hide from light sources.

Since, while living in the wild, an amphibian does not have any ornate requests for living conditions, it will also be easy to maintain in a house or apartment. Change the water in the aquarium at least once a week to 1/3. Completely replace the fluid once a month. Aquarium heating and lighting is not necessary.

You can feed an adult frog with flies, cockroaches, bloodworms, crickets and other insects that amphibians eat when they are in nature. From time to time give your pet finely chopped pieces of raw meat. Young frogs should be fed lettuce and nettle leaves. The last of these plants should be doused with boiling water before use.

Common frog look

Это животное представляет собой небольшую лягушку массой примерно 23 г и длиной тела от 6 до 10 см. В окрасе преобладают светло-коричневые тона.

С боков и на спине присутствуют темные пятна, диаметром от 1 до 3 мм. В брачный период горло у самца приобретает голубой оттенок, а окрас всего тела становится более светлым, чем обычно. The female, on the contrary, becomes darker, with a marble pattern on the abdomen and abdomen. The muzzle of the grass frog is rounded. Hind legs relatively short.

Habitat and habitat of grass frog

This frog lives on the whole territory of Europe, except for the south and central part of the Iberian Peninsula, the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula and the south of Italy. The eastern boundary of the range is the Urals and Western Siberia.

Common frog (Rana temporaria).

Also, this frog lives on the British Isles (noteworthy is the fact that the grass frog is the only frog species living in Ireland). The northern boundary of the range is at the level of the Kola Peninsula and Scandinavia.

The grass frog is found mainly in the forest-steppe and steppe zones. The presence of water bodies for this species is necessary only during the breeding season.

Eating grass frogs

At different stages of the life of the grass frog, its diet varies. Adult individuals are predators and eat various invertebrates, such as flies, worms, and snails. In the process of hunting they use sticky long tongue. In the mating season, frogs almost completely stop consuming food.

Tadpoles of this species are herbivores, and feed on detritus, algae, and some other aquatic plants. However, sometimes tadpoles still eat other animals.

Tadpoles of grass frogs are herbivores, however some can eat small animals.

What does the grass frog look like and how does it differ from the moorland?

The grass frog (Rana temporaria) is a member of the family of true frogs (Ranidae). This is a rather large amphibian: the length of the amphibian reaches 10 cm. The body is massive, the head is large. The color of the amphibian can vary from beige to chocolate. On the upper side of the body there are scattered dark spots of various shapes and sizes, as well as tubercles. The belly is light, with a yellowish or greenish tint, usually with a dark marble pattern. From the posterior edge of the eye, through the eardrum to the base of the forelimb, a dark temporal spot stretches.

In males, the torso is more slender, the slits of paired resonators are in the corners of the mouth. During the breeding season, they appear pronounced mating corns on the first finger, and the color changes somewhat - the upper side of the body becomes lighter, and the throat takes on a bluish tint.

In appearance, the common frog is very similar to another widespread species - a moor frog. However, after looking, they are easy to distinguish. Firstly, our heroine is the owner of a duller face than her relative, secondly, she is much larger, and thirdly, she has a pronounced dark marble pattern on her belly (the moot belly has a white belly). In addition, our heroine has a lower inner heel knoll.

What's for lunch?

The diet of grass frogs depends on the characteristics of the area in which they live. They feed on various soil and terrestrial invertebrates. Flying insects in the diet of these amphibians are few, since they hunt mostly in the dark, when flying animals are much smaller. At the northern border of the range, they diversify their diet and aquatic organisms.

The intensity of nutrition is not the same at different times of the year. So, during the breeding season, they have a so-called “mating post”.

Wintering features

The hibernation of grass frogs lasts an average of 180 days: for amphibians living in our latitudes, this is a rather short time.

Amphibians can winter, not only on land, but also at the bottom of reservoirs, preferring fast-flowing non-freezing rivers, muddy marshes and peaty ditches. Amphibians winter very rarely in lakes, ponds and large rivers. The freezing of reservoirs leads to the death of frogs. In addition, in the stagnant water bodies under the ice, ice blockages often occur - all living things die from lack of oxygen. Amphibians may also die due to spring floods. Amphibians wintering on land in the shelters can also overtake the sad fate - often they do not survive in frosty and snowy winters.

Under water, the amphibian “sleeps” in a peculiar pose: its hind limbs are tucked in, and the front, turned “palms” outward, seem to cover their heads. At the same time, the “palms” become bright red from the dense network of blood vessels developing in their skin. The frogs wintering under water can sometimes move around and even have a snack.

In one place, a different number of frogs can sleep: it happens that they hibernate singly, but wintering is more common, consisting of 20-30 individuals, and in some cases their number can reach several hundred specimens.

In the life of these frogs, 3 types of migration are expressed. Firstly, this is the annual migration to breeding sites and back, secondly, the migration of just completed metamorphosis will frog to their permanent habitat, and, thirdly, the migration to wintering grounds.

The frogs can gather to suitable wintering grounds, covering a distance of up to 1.5 km in one day. Sometimes in the fall you can see a large accumulation of amphibians in places close to their future wintering: along the banks of rivers, in wetlands, etc.

Procreation

To frogs for laying eggs, grass frogs are sent in early spring. In an effort to continue their race, they leave their usual habitats and overcome considerable distances and various obstacles.

Spawning ponds for them can be a variety of standing ponds - even road ruts filled with water and puddles are suitable for egg laying.

Egg laying occurs at a water temperature of +5 to + 15 ° С, sometimes ice can sometimes remain on its surface.

Depending on the conditions of a particular reservoir, breeding lasts from 2 to 10 days. At breeding sites, males do not make much noise, they do not suit long and loud singing. They call friends to separate signals that last about a second and resemble a quiet rumbling.

Males appear at the reservoir shortly before the females. Sometimes the pairs are already connected on land, when the female only goes to the water. Like males of the common toad, obsessed with the desire to leave offspring, the males of the grass frog can “embrace” and accidentally “come handy” amphibians of other species.

The female that laid eggs immediately leaves the reservoir and hurries back to its permanent habitat, but the male remains. If he is lucky, he will leave offspring with another female next night.

The female lays up to 4 thousand eggs. The masonry has the form of a lump, which at first has a small size, but soon the shell of the eggs swell, and the lump increases several times, thus taking the form of a shapeless jelly-like mass. Such masonry can often be observed in shallow water. Interestingly, grass frog eggs easily withstand hypothermia to -6 ° C, without losing the ability to develop. However, without harm to themselves, they cannot long withstand temperatures from + 24 ° C.

Under normal conditions, the development of embryos lasts from 5 to 15 days. The larvae feed on decaying organic matter and small plants. Even in spacious water bodies, tadpoles form dense clusters - up to 100 individuals per liter. The shallow water area, where such a colony is located, looks like a solid black mass.

Depending on the conditions, the development of larvae lasts 1.5-3 months and ends with a metamorphosis.

In dry and hot years, the early drying up of water bodies leads to mass mortality of masonry located at the coast, and clusters of tadpoles, which, when the water recedes, are cut off from deeper areas. In more favorable conditions, a mass of larvae live to metamorphosis, and after its completion, many tiny frogs leave reservoirs at the same time. At this time, they often die from drying out, under the wheels of transport, or become prey to all sorts of predators. Those who managed to survive, intensively fed to successfully survive the long cold season.

Sexual maturity of grass frogs reach the third year of life. In nature, they live an average of 6-8 years.

To eat frogs, especially small ones, there are many lovers in nature. These are minks, weasels, wolves, foxes, snakes, ravens, hawks, magpies, etc.

Even the amphibian eggs covered with the jelly-like shells are not very edible, but they also include hunters - planarian, insects, larvae of other amphibians, etc. The tadpoles are hunted by all water predators.

The content of grass frogs at home

To keep a grass frog at home, you will need a 30-40 liter terrarium. At room temperature, additional heating and lighting are not required. Terrarium can not be put on a sunny place, it is better to find a place for it cooler (this species does not tolerate temperatures above 25 ° C).

Since this species is very demanding of moisture, you should not forget to spray water over the substrate once a day. In addition, in a terrarium, you must put a large, but not deep body of water.

Terrarium is desirable to arrange a corner of the forest.

Feed the pet flies, cockroaches, bloodworms, pipemaker, etc.

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