Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pacific chorus frog ~ 06/30/11 ~ at home

I've thoroughly enjoyed watching my tadpoles. Almost all of them were released from their egg sacs the day after I first posted pictures on 05/30/11 making them 1 month old. Most of the time they simply rest on the bottom of the aquarium, not too exciting. Around mid-morning and mid-afternoon they get more active. They eat duckweed roots as shown above and algae off the sides and bottom of the aquarium like miniature vacuums. Amazingly, they can float up without moving their tails. How do they regulate their buoyancy? I had to fiddle with the pictures above to show the details; it's really difficult to get clear pictures through glass and murky water. I have over 15 tadpoles and numerous snails which have already mated, laid eggs, and hatched young since I've had them. Does anyone know what kind of snail commonly comes with purchased pond plants? Speaking of which, the oxygenating plant (shown in the second pic) is not milfoil, but I forgot what it is.

ps 07/11/11 - The frilly plant floating in the second pic is rigid hornwort, aka coon's-tail (Ceratophyllum demersum). While this is a native plant in CA and elsewhere, I will be careful about how I dispose of this plant's parts as it can be considered invasive and easily propagates from fragments. As for the snail, I believe it is a bladder snail (Physa acuta, aka Physella acuta). It has a left-sided aperture (all Physa spp. have this), pointed spire (sharper than the other common aquarium tadpole snail), thin shell (I accidentally crushed one while taking a closer look), and small size of 3-12 mm (generally smaller than Physa gyrina). For now I'm going to keep the snails; they may end up being a good food source for when the tadpoles metamorphose.

pss 08/09/11 - For a much better picture of a pacific chorus frog tadpole, check out John Wall's Natural California.

pss 08/13/11 - For nice pictures of pacific chorus frogs out in the wild, check out Cindy at Bug Safari. She's quite a bit south from where I'm at. I don't know if I'll have any adults this year.


Jennifer said...

I love the detail in that first shot. They are getting bigger all the time! The oxygenating plant is hornwort. As for the snails....from my research they seem to be in the physa genus, maybe a tadpole or pouch snail, I'm not totally sure. But I am wondering how I'm going to handle them if they overpopulate my ponds, which I'm sure they will. They sure do breed a lot!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks, Jennifer. I'm going to pull one of the snails out and take a look. I found a reference for pouch snails (Physa gyrina). They have a left aperture. Now I have to figure out which direction to look at the shell to determine left from right.