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Wood Frogs Mating

4-23-18 mating wood frogs2 0U1A0777Wood Frogs have emerged from their hibernacula and migrated to their ancestral woodland breeding pools, or vernal pools, to sing (males), mate and lay eggs (females). A chorus of duck-like quacking reveals where these hidden temporary bodies of water are located. The male Wood Frog in this photograph is on top of a female, grasping her behind her front legs in a hold referred to as “amplexus.” They will remain in this position until she lays her eggs and he then fertilizes them externally. Note that even though he has attracted a female and is in the process of mating with her, the male is continuing to sing (one of his two vocal pouches is inflated on the near side of his body).

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8 responses

  1. Bill On The Hill...

    Now that is dedication to duty, Mr. Woody is singing while having sex.
    It brings to mind a song from yesteryear; ” I’m singing in the rain, singing in the rain… ”
    …Bill Farr

    April 23, 2018 at 7:46 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    I think that’s very romantic, to have someone sing to you, especially in a Wood Frog voice.

    April 23, 2018 at 7:46 am

  3. ann hooke

    Pretty funny – just yesterday while doing road cleanup in Deer Isle, I heard a wood frog in a small wetland and thought, “isn’t it about time for Naturally Curious to post something about wood frogs mating!”

    April 23, 2018 at 8:36 am

  4. Patricia D March

    It looks as if they are in sea of eggs. Are those also wood frog eggs?

    April 23, 2018 at 9:40 am

    • Yes, Penny. Wood Frogs tend to lay their eggs in a cluster. The first egg masses are in the middle and are the warmest and hatch first!

      April 23, 2018 at 10:20 am

  5. deMaynadier, Phillip

    HI Mary,
    What a terrific image – congratulations! I hope to save it for use in some of my powerpoint outreach programs, with credit to you.

    Do you mind if I ask what camera and lenses you prefer for close-up nature photographs? I’m in the market.


    Phillip deMaynadier. Ph.D.
    Wildlife Biologist, Wildlife Research Assessment Section
    Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
    Office: 207-941-4239 / Cell: 207-692-3364

    April 23, 2018 at 10:26 am

  6. Louise

    This year the wood frogs came out of my woods gradually rather than as a cohort (this is my guess since the quacking was intermittent over the course of more than 2 weeks. In some springs, the quacking/mating occurs in just a few days. This year the first batch of eggs spent a couple of days under ice, and of course sleet and snow fell…but there is a high water level in the pond so I hope the eggs–laid mostly to attach to old goldenrod and other plant stems–stay wet !

    April 23, 2018 at 11:33 am

  7. Cheron barton

    Heard the… have you??

    Sent from my iPhone


    April 23, 2018 at 11:47 am

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