Thursday, April 25, 2013

Toads - NSFW

That is this post is Not Safe For Work, ... if you work with a bunch of toads. Today at the refuge if you walked to the river end of the Cross Dike Trail you were greeted by a choir of Eastern American Toads singing loudly. (Thanks to Alan Bragg for the identification.)

If you followed the sound down along the Lower Impoundment to the first break in the reeds you would have been greeted by a veritable frenzy of toads. It seems that the warm weather had turned their hearts to love. You would find toads calling, mating, and chasing other toads to either capture a mate or chase away a potential suitor.

At times the noise was quite loud. In this video the toads are closer than the airplane, but notice the relative noise levels.


It was impressive when you would see the male toads expand their vocal sac and start to call. It would expand to almost twice its normal size.

Light Chronicle: GM20130425 &emdash;

Light Chronicle: GM20130425 &emdash;

When a male finds a receptive female, he will come up behind her. Giving a big hug she grabs her around the chest and holds on. Together they wander around until she starts to lay her eggs, which he fertilizes. The eggs are in long strands. Look carefully and you will notice them in the photos.

Of course along the way other toads try to horn in on the action. It seems that one of the defensive strategies is for the couple to submerge leaving the chasing of mates to the toads on the surface.

Light Chronicle: GM20130425 &emdash;

Light Chronicle: GM20130425 &emdash;

Light Chronicle: GM20130425 &emdash;

Light Chronicle: GM20130425 &emdash;

Light Chronicle: GM20130425 &emdash;

Of course it does sort of remind me of junior high school. There were a few lonely toads that just had not yet met the right girl.

Light Chronicle: GM20130425 &emdash;

The one thing I found curious is that with all the noise, that no predators were attracted to the scene. Walking down toward Borden's Pond, I encountered a Great Blue Heron that probably would have had a feast, if he had been fishing in the correct spot.

If you are interested in more information about toads, I found this useful link. useful link.