The frogs, associated with each person with a loud croaking and a warm season, belong to the tailless - the largest squad of amphibians. The habitat of some individuals is exclusively dry land, other frog species recognize only in the water, some - both. There are also tree frogs living in trees and capable of planning for a distance of up to 15 meters.
The most comfortable places for amphibians are places with increased dampness - wet forests, meadows, swamps, and shores of freshwater bodies of water. Almost every corner of the earth is inhabited by these big-eyed creatures, of which there are more than 5,000 species on the planet. The highest density is recorded in the tropical zone. Many nature lovers have always wondered: what is it, a frog? What eats? Where does it live?
External description of the frog
Frogs are characterized by a short torso. The absence of the neck as such allows the tailless animal to only slightly tilt its head, in the upper part of which there are two bulging eyes and nostrils. What eats a frog in a pond? What kind of lifestyle leads? And why often blinks? The organs of vision of the frog are protected by the eyelids: the upper — leathery — and the lower — transparent and mobile. The private blinking characteristic of them is due to the protection from drying out of the surface of the eyes, which are moistened with moist skin of the eyelids. This feature is caused by the terrestrial lifestyle of the frog. For comparison, fish - permanent residents of a humid environment - do not have eyelids, so do not blink at all. The visual feature of the frogs is their ability to simultaneously see everything that happens in front, top and side. In this case, even during sleep, they do not close their eyes for a long time.
Outside, behind each eye, is located the outer ear, covered with skin - eardrum. The internal organ of hearing of the frog is placed directly in the skull.
Frog skin properties
The air is a green frog inhaled by the lungs, which are weakly developed in it, and by the skin, which is of paramount importance in the respiratory process. For this type of amphibian, an absolutely dry environment is destructive, as it causes skin drying and certain death as a result of this. In the aquatic environment, the frog goes completely to skin breathing.
Our ancestors believed that frog skin has bactericidal properties, so they threw these animals into milk so that it would not sour. By the way, the frog does not drink at all, and water from the external environment penetrates into its body with food and through the skin, which, thanks to the skin secretions of the mucous consistency, is constantly moist. Proceeding from the above, questions arise: "What is the common frog out of the rest of the fauna? What does it eat? How does it hunt prey?"
The frog has well-formed limbs, each of which consists of three main sections, linked with each other with the help of movable joints. In the front paws, this is the shoulder, forearm and hand, ending with 4 fingers (the fifth is underdeveloped). The back part consists of a foot with 5 fingers, interconnected by swimming membranes, legs and thighs. The hind legs, which play the main role in movement, are several times stronger and longer than the front, while the forelegs serve as a kind of softening shock when jumping.
The body temperature of an amphibian directly depends on the temperature of the external environment, rising in the warm season and decreasing in the cold. Like fish, frogs are cold-blooded animals. Therefore, during a cold snap, they lose activity and tend to take shelter in a warmer place, and in winter they hibernate.
Frog: What Eats
The diet of these tailless is quite extensive and consists of individuals around it. Therefore, by logical thinking and careful observations, one can understand what a frog eats in a pond. These are mainly beetles, mosquitoes, flies, spiders, worms, snails, caterpillars, small crustaceans and sometimes fish fry. Some of the victims have a hard shell that the frog handles with its teeth. The frogs hunt exclusively for mobile prey, sitting in a secluded place and patiently waiting for the next lunch. Having noticed a potential victim, the hunter immediately throws out of her mouth a long, wide tongue to which she sticks.
Tailless amphibians are divided into three types: frogs, toads and frogs.
The frogs are characterized by smooth, slightly bumpy skin, swimming membranes on the hind limbs and teeth located on the upper jaw. The most respectable representative of this species is the Goliath frog, mostly inhabiting West Africa. Its length is up to 1 meter, and its weight is about 3 kg. Impressive dimensions! Such a frog strikes the eye. What feeds on such a large individual, capable of jumping up to a distance of 3 meters? The goliath frog feeds on its small counterparts, spiders and scorpions and can live up to 15 years. Her lack of a voice resonator is compensated by excellent hearing.
The size of the smallest frogs living in Cuba is from 8.5 to 12 mm.
In the central regions of Europe, the most common is the pond green frog, which differs from its counterparts except in its smaller size. The abdomen, devoid of spots, has a white or yellowish color, the color of the back is gray-green or bright green. The favorite habitat is small reservoirs with stagnant water and near-water flora. Prefers a daytime lifestyle, feels comfortable both on land and in water, which allows it to equally consume oxygen through the skin and lungs. For movement on land uses fast jumps, from danger tries to take cover in a reservoir. From hibernation usually come out in April-May, when the external temperature is 12 o C heat, and the water temperature - 10 o C. the beginning of their awakening activity is low, after two or three weeks, as the water warms up, reproduction begins in the pond. One female can lay up to 3000 eggs, from which a frog larva develops during a week. The full cycle of its reincarnation into an adult is about 2 months.
Frog life in nature
The tadpole of a frog eats microscopic algae, and a little later - insect larvae. Sexual maturity frogs reach the third year of life. The duration of their life in natural conditions reaches 6-12 years. With the onset of cold snap, the frogs go to wintering, preferring to bury themselves in silt. Sometimes they can hide on land, for example, in a rodent hole. For example, grass frogs spend the winter at the bottom of non-freezing reservoirs, in the sources of streams and rivers, gathering in tens and hundreds of individuals. Moorish frog for wintering chooses the cracks of the earth's crust.
Toads and tree frogs: the differences
Toads are characterized by the absence of teeth and skin covered with tubercles, which is darker and more frog-dried. The largest individual in the world - the toad-aha - is also one of the most poisonous among its fellows. Its weight can reach 2 kg. The smallest frog has a length of 2.4 cm. Representatives of this species prefer to exist on land, descending to water only during the mating season.
Tree frogs are the smallest representatives of the three described frog species. They are distinguished from others by the presence of extended discs on their fingers, which help them to scramble upwards. Some species can fly, which helps them escape from enemies.
Amazing frog species
Like many representatives of the fauna, there are unique specimens among the frogs.
So, in India there is a rainbow frog, which is the subject of worship. She lives in the house of Reggie Kumar. Its singularity lies in the ever-changing color, attracting a large number of people who want to look at this miracle and pray to him.
The internal structure of the frog can easily be studied by its endangered species - Hyalinobatrachium pellucidum. Otherwise, it is called glass, or transparent, because through the skin you can see its insides.
From the tree dwarves of Central and South America I want to highlight the coloring tree dwarf, in particular, its blue subspecies. Unlike other fellows, he is active even in the daytime and almost always has a bright color. Many tree frogs are on the verge of extinction. Wood frogs are poisonous to some extent, than the American Indians successfully used, using their poison for their arrows.
The Vietnamese marsh frog living in tropical and subtropical forests is often the subject of domestic exotics, in terms of value is estimated from 45 to 75 dollars. It is also called moss because of the unusual structure of the skin, which resembles rocky moss. Also, this appearance is an excellent disguise.
Where does the toad live?
Due to the diversity of species, the distribution of these amphibians is very wide. After Australia has artificially created a population of poisonous toad aga, this list does not include only Antarctica.
The geographical areas inhabited by toads are very diverse: from marshy shores and floodplain meadows to steppes and arid deserts. Toads are terrestrial inhabitants and enter the water only for spawning. Prefer solitary lifestyle and gather in groups only in the mating season and in places with an excess of food.
What eats a toad?
By way of feeding, toads are typical predators. The basis of their diet consists of small invertebrates, which include butterflies, snails, worms, insects and their larvae, as well as fish fry. The menu of large individuals may include small rodents, lizards and frogs. The toad is most active in the twilight and at night. The victim is ambushed in response to the movement of future prey.
Propagation of toads.
In the mating season, which begins in spring in temperate climates, and in the tropical climate, in the rainy season, individuals of both sexes gather near water bodies. To attract females, the male toad using a special resonator located behind the ears or on the throat, produces peculiar sounds. Having climbed onto the back of the approached female, he fertilizes the eggs that she sets aside. The laying looks like two gelatinous cords and contains up to 7 thousand eggs. After spawning, the adults leave the reservoir and are located on its shores.
Depending on the species, in a period ranging from 5 days to 2 months, the larvae appear, turning first into tailed tadpoles, and then into young tailless individuals. They reach sexual maturity the following year. Some toad species common in Africa are viviparous. They are on the verge of extinction and therefore are listed in the Red Book.
Breeding toads at home.
Recently, it has become fashionable to keep amphibians at home. For their comfortable maintenance, special terrariums are used. They are placed in the nooks of the apartment, avoiding the direct rays of the sun and away from the source of loud noises. Periodically in the terrariums need to be cleaned. In the hands of these "pets" should be taken only wearing gloves. In food, toads are suitable for any live insects. Some species of toads are quickly tamed and even take food from the hands of a caring owner.
General information about toads and frogs: differences
Toads and frogs are tailless amphibians living in water and on land. Even when coming out of the water, these animals are very dependent on it. In addition to pulmonary, they also have active skin respiration, which allows amphibians to be under water for a longer time. But dry air and prolonged exposure to the sun have a devastating effect on them.
What does a frog eat? This can be found below in the article.
Frogs and toads are close relatives. Their difference lies in the fact that the frogs have smoother skin, long strong hind legs have well-developed membranes between the fingers. All this helps the frogs to jump well and swim quickly. And the toad has dry skin covered with “warts”, their paws are weak and short, allowing only a waddle or short jumps to move. The membranes between the fingers are not developed, and therefore they swim poorly, and they spend less time in the water (in fact, only during the breeding season).
By structure and appearance it is difficult to determine what a frog eats, but it can be assumed. She has a flat back and head, and her eyes often protrude above the water surface like bubbles of liquid, without giving out the animal itself. Hind feet - strong, like a spring, and front, arranged like palms, grasping. The frog's jaws are dotted with sharp small teeth facing inward. In the wide mouth is sticky tongue. Comparing all the above-mentioned external signs, it can be assumed what the frog eats - mostly small aquatic inhabitants.
This family (real frogs) belongs to the order of tailless amphibians. The composition of the latter is numerous, this includes 32 genera and about 400 species. Most of them are inhabitants of the jungle (humid tropics).
The largest tailless amphibian is the Goliath frog (3 kilograms) living on the coast of the Republic of Cameroon in Africa. Most recently, in New Guinea, the smallest frog was found - the size of a finger nail.
The varieties of the gray and common toad mainly live in central Russia. They are widespread in Russia up to Sakhalin, as well as throughout Europe and in Africa (north-west).
Most of these amphibians have a modest inconspicuous coloration, but some of the outfit may be quite bright, especially for poisonous species that live mostly in the tropics.
Types of frogs and toads
Before we find out what the frogs eat in the pond, as well as in other natural and domestic conditions, consider the most common varieties of these amphibians. Their life (toads and frogs) is closely related to water, although there are species that, when grown up, mostly live and hunt only on land.
4 species of frogs live in central Russia: lake, pond, grass, moorish. The first two species are green in color, the second closer to brown.
Among the inhabitants of Russian vegetable gardens are more common moorish and grassy. The first has a protective color that allows it to be invisible on the ground, but it is much less grassy in size. The second has a gray-brown or brown back with spots of different colors, and the belly for the most part has a light spot with dark spots.
In the territories of Siberia, besides the grass frog, the Siberian also lives. A distinctive feature of her - pink spots on the brown abdomen.
Among toads, the most common are 2 species:
- ordinary, or gray, with a dark-brown back,
- green, with large green spots on a light gray back.
All kinds of frogs are tireless in foraging. What does a frog eat? It is known that the grass frog during the whole summer period eats approximately 1,300 insects - pests of gardens and vegetable gardens. And the moorish exterminates many pests, including smelly bugs and beetles, which even the birds eschew.
As a rule, frogs get food during the day, and toads destroy pests mostly at night and at dusk.
What does a frog eat and how does it do it? They, like the toads, are insectivorous animals. The frogs have teeth only on the upper jaw, and the toads do not have them at all, therefore they have nothing to bite off the food pieces. Due to these peculiarities, the food is swallowed up by frogs and toads. They catch their prey with the help of their original language - long, strong and forked at the end. It is immediately ejected from the mouth in the direction of the victim, and then, due to the fact that it is sticky, it comes back with the prey stuck.
Another curious fact is that food gets into the esophagus through the eyes. When blinking, the eyes sink deeper, pushing food into the esophagus.
What do frogs eat in nature?
Toads have a wonderful appetite. The main food for them are invertebrates: worms, insects, bugs, spiders, caterpillars, mollusks, and so on. More than half (60%) of all insect-eaten insects are pests of agricultural land. Also these animals eat slugs. Many gardeners observe unpleasant slugs on strawberries, which usually hide in wet ground during the day, and in the evening they go out to eat the soft, juicy fruits of sweet ripe strawberries. To deal with them is very difficult. Just in this, toads are great assistants.
The adult frog is a carnivore. The frog feeds on mosquitoes and other insect species. For lake dainty prey are fish fry. In this regard, fish farms cause considerable damage. Hiding in the shallow water, the frog is waiting for a flock of fry, and waiting for them, she abruptly opens her mouth, where a lot of fish are involved in the flow of water. Tadpoles can be found in the mouth with fry.
В желудках лягушек часто присутствуют и растительные остатки, потому что к их языку прилипает часть листьев и цветков, на которых сидела их добыча. Все это быстро проглатывается лягушкой, после чего она снова отправляется за новой пищей.
Чем питаются головастики лягушек
Стадия личиночная у разных видов лягушек очень схожа.
Вылупившиеся из икринок головастики не имеют отверстия ротового. The germ supply of nutrients ends after about seven days, when their length reaches 1.5 cm. During this period, the mouth breaks through and self-feeding begins.
The main food of tadpoles are unicellular algae. Random impurities that are absorbed by the frog's body along with the main food are mold fungi, protozoa flagellates, and other microorganisms.
The tadpole's mouth apparatus is well adapted for scraping off algae plaque and it is a sort of “beak” surrounded by fringed lips. The bottom has rough growths and is larger than the top. Tadpoles feed during the day, being in heated water in the shallows and off the coast, forming mass aggregations (up to 10,000). Not all of them survive, because the larvae of frogs serve as food for birds, fish and many other inhabitants of the reservoir.
Tadpoles turn into frog-yearlings. They are quite voracious. In the filled state, the volume of the stomach exceeds 1/5 of the total mass.
Another interesting detail is that if there is an insufficient amount of animal food in a pond, the tadpole winters in the larvae stage, setting it as a predator until spring.
What do frogs eat at home?
Especially popular among aquarists is the spur frog, whose skin excretions have the effect of a natural antiseptic that disinfects water well. Such a frog is usually planted in an aquarium with fish that have become infected with any infections. However, between them there must necessarily be a reticular septum, since the frog can eat its “patients”.
Usually amphibians living in an aquarium feed on live food: rain worms, daphnia, bloodworms, and so on. Due to the fact that in captivity the frogs do not move much, they tend to be obese. Feed them should no more than 2 times a week. They can also eat thinly sliced lean meat or fish.
And what do tadpoles of frogs eat at home? In the very first days, dry milk is suitable for them (infant formula is also good). In the second week, you can enter into the diet a mixture of insects and herbs after good steaming in the oven or in the sun to avoid various putrefactive processes.
Beef liver and small bloodworm are introduced on the last days of metamorphosis to strengthen the body of small frogs, but all this should be crushed to the smallest size.
Earthen Toad Description
Because of the resemblance to a frog, the toad is constantly confused with it. Moreover, in the languages of some peoples, representatives of these two different families are designated in one word, without making dictionary distinctions.
It's a shame, however! After all, a toad, it is - a real toad - belongs to the class of amphibians, the order of tailless, the family of toads, and has more than 500 species. All of them are divided into 40 genera, a third of which can be found on European territory.
The toad is arranged as it should be for the tailless amphibian - a loose body, without clear contours, a flattened head, protruding eyes, membranes between the toes of the paws, a sallow-colored skin, uneven, all in tubercles and warts. Not a very pretty creature!
Perhaps because of this man since ancient times, has a dislike for the baby? However, not all toads are babes. In adulthood, they can reach up to 53 cm long and weigh up to 1 kilogram. Toads have rather short limbs for such an overweight body. For this reason, toads do not know how to jump like frogs and swim poorly.
Distinctive features of earthen toads include:
- lack of teeth in the upper jaw,
- the presence of bumps on the paws of males - "marriage corn", with which they are held on the body of the female during mating,
- large parotid glands, called "parotid".
Important! These glands are needed by the toad in order to produce a secret moisturizing skin. In some species of toads, this secret contains toxic substances, like protective weapons. For a man, this secret does not represent a threat to life. It can only cause burning. The only exception is one deadly poisonous toad on Earth - aha.
Of the 40 genera of earthen toads, on the territory of Russia and former CIS countries, 6 species can be found. All of them are from the bufo genus.
- Gray Earthen Toad, she is an ordinary toad. Large species in the family (7x12 cm) and one of the most common. Despite the name, it can be not only gray, but also olive, brown. The back is darker than the abdomen. The length of this toad is one and a half times less than in width. In Russia, the gray earthen toad can be found in the Far East and Central Asia. She loves not very damp places, preferring the forest-steppe terrain.
- Far Eastern toad, on the contrary, prefers wet places - floodplain meadows, river floodplains. A characteristic feature of this species is the color - bright black and brown spots on the gray back. Also, in Far Eastern toads, the female is always larger than the male. These toads can be found in the Far East, Sakhalin, Transbaikalia, Korea and China.
- Green Earthen Toad got the name for the color of the back - dark green spots on an olive background. Such natural camouflage serves her well, making her practically invisible where she prefers to dwell - in meadows and river floodplains. The secret of the green toad is toxic to natural enemies, not dangerous for humans. It is found in the Volga region, Asian countries, in Europe and North Africa.
- Caucasian toad competes in size with the gray toad. It has 12.5 cm in length. Adults, usually brown or dark gray, but the “young” differs in orange color, which subsequently darkens. Caucasian toad lives, as the name implies, in the Caucasus. Loves forests and mountains. Sometimes they can be found in caves, damp and wet.
- Reed toad, she is smelly. Looks like a green toad. The same large - up to 8 cm long, also likes reeds and wet, swampy places. A distinctive feature of this species is the developed throat resonator in the male, which it sets in motion during the mating period. You can hear and see these toads in Belarus, in the west of Ukraine and in the Kaliningrad region.
- Mongolian toad has a large body, up to 9 cm long, studded with warts with spikes. Color can vary from gray to beige and brown. Against this background, spots of various geometric shapes are distinguishable. In addition to Mongolia, these toads are seen in Siberia, in the Far East, Western Ukraine and in the Baltic States.
It is interesting! The biggest toad in the world is Blumberg's toad. Giantess has a body length of 25 cm and completely harmless. Its solitary specimens can still be found in the tropics of Colombia and Ecuador, but only solitary, since this species is on the verge of extinction.
The smallest toad in the world is the Kihansi toad splatter, the size of a 5-ruble coin: 1.9 cm (for the male) and 2.9 cm (for the female) in length. Like the biggest toad, it is on the verge of extinction. Previously, it could be found in Tanzania, in a very limited area near the waterfall, near the Kihansi River.
Earthen toads lead a leisurely lifestyle during the day and "active" at night. At dusk, they go hunting. It is they who come out, clumsy and awkward, they do not jump like frogs, but “walk in steps”. On the jump, single, they can provoke danger. But even in this case, they prefer to bend their backs with a hump, depicting an extreme degree of defense against the enemy. Frogs do not do that.
Despite its clumsiness and sluggishness, earthen toads are good hunters. Their voracity and natural feature help to throw out the tongue at lightning speed, grabbing an insect on the fly. Frogs do not know how. With the onset of cold weather, the toads fall into hibernation, having previously found a secluded place for themselves - under the roots of trees, in abandoned burrows of small rodents, under fallen leaves. Toads live alone. Groups they gather only to leave offspring, and then “run up” again, returning to their favorite hummock.
For dwelling, earthen toads choose wet places, but not necessarily near water bodies. They only need water to spawn.
Important! Due to the diversity of species, the presence of earthen toads is practically ubiquitous. These amphibians are found on all continents. The exception, for obvious reasons, is only Antarctica.
In the rest of the time, toads prefer damp cellars, freshly dug, still wet ground, crevices in the mountains, low grass thickets in the floodplains of rivers, rain forests. But! There are species that live in the steppes and in arid deserts.
Diet of earthen toad
The main dish of the usual menu of earthen toad - insects. She likes to add snails, worms, caterpillars, centipedes to them. Does not shun insect larvae and spiders. This, not very legible, glutton is not confused by the bright, warning colors of some insects or their not quite usual appearance. Earthen toad is an excellent and very effective helper for man in the fight against agricultural pests.
This orderly of crops, the night guard of the harvest. During the day, one earthen toad eats up to 8 g of insects in the garden! Large species of earthen toads are able to feed themselves and a lizard, a snake, and a small rodent. Toads react to moving objects reflexively, but poorly distinguish movements in one plane, such as grass vibrations.
Earthen toad is surrounded by enemies from all sides. Egrets, storks, ibises look out from the sky and from the height of long legs. Otters, minks, foxes, wild boars, raccoons await them on the ground. And there is no salvation from snakes. Not every representative of these amphibians produces a poisonous secret. And to protect it, in fact, a defenseless amphibian can only be a good disguise, and high fecundity can save it from extinction.
Reproduction and offspring
When spring comes, and in the tropics - the rainy season, mating season begins for earth toads. And they gather in large groups by the reservoirs. The presence of water is of strategic importance - toad spawn will be in it. In water, the larvae hatch from the eggs, which will turn into tadpoles. In the water, the tadpoles will live for two months, eating small algae and plants, until they turn into small full-fledged toads, then to crawl onto the land and come to the reservoir again a year later. Toad roe is not like a frog.
In those it is in the form of gelatinous lumps, and in the toads - gelatinous cords, whose length can reach 8 meters. One clutch - two cords, including, in total, up to 7 thousand eggs. Cords are woven, for reliability, between algae. The rate of appearance of tadpoles on the light depends on the type of toad, and the water temperature, and can vary from 5 days to 2 months. The females of the toads are to the pond for mating after the males, following on their song calling. When the female approaches the male, he climbs onto her back and fertilizes the spawn that she is throwing at that moment. After the female spawns, she goes ashore.
It is interesting! There are types of earthen toads, in which the male plays the role of a nanny. He sits in the ground and guards masonry tapes wound around his paws, waiting for tadpoles to appear.
There are midwives. They lay their eggs on their backs and carry them until the larvae appear. And this role is also performed by males! And there is even more amazing toad - viviparous. She lives in Africa. This toad does not lay eggs, but bears it inside itself - 9 months! And such a toad gives birth not to tadpoles, but to full-fledged toads. It is also surprising that this process occurs in a toad only twice in its life, and it produces no more than 25 babies at a time. Is it any wonder that this species is on the verge of extinction and is protected?
Population and species status
There are rare endangered species of toads, viviparous African toad, reed, baby Kihansi. All of them are listed in the Red Book. Sadly, but often a man puts a hand to this fact, shamelessly destroying the natural habitat of amphibians.. So, Kihansi almost disappeared after people built a dam on the river at the place where they lived. The dam blocked access to water and deprived Kihansi of their natural habitat. Today, this type of earthen toad can be found only in the zoo.