Wood Frog Egg Matts
Now that normal spring temperatures have returned, the air around vernal pools is once again filled with the clacking/quacking calls of male wood frogs hoping to attract females. Once this has been accomplished, most paired wood frogs head to the same general area in the pool to mate. The resulting egg masses, each consisting of several hundred eggs, form a communal cluster, or “egg matt,” on the surface of the water. Eventually algae will start growing on the jelly-like substance surrounding the eggs, causing them to resemble pond slime – an effective camouflage. The gelatin covering, the size of the communal cluster, and exposure to the sun all help the eggs to be warmer than the surrounding water and they develop quickly – a necessity if one is to metamorphose into an adult before the vernal pool dries up.
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