25 May 2009

Making Up Time

Southeast Nebraska was much easier than I thought. It took a few false starts at areas that apparently only have Plains Leopard Frogs, but after only a day I found a population of Northern Leopard Frogs that was heavenly. There were frogs everywhere, more than I've ever seen at one place. This will be an interesting population genetically, because Plains Leopard Frogs were also present and hybridization has been reported in the past based on morphology. No one really knows whether these hybrids are fertile, but my genetic work should be able to tell us whether they are.

I saw something here that I'd only read about: I saw a bullfrog catch and eat a leopard frog! It all happened so fast. I scared a leopard frog that took two quick hops. As it landed the second hop, a large bullfrog that was waiting nearby lunged forward and grabbed the easy meal. Whoops! Bullfrogs have been so widely introduced that we don't really know whether they are native or introduced in some parts of their range. This is one of those parts. I felt bad for the leopard frog, of course, but this was fascinating to see. I got a distant photo, below, of the bullfrog with leopard frog legs hanging out of its mouth. You should be able to enlarge the photo by clicking on it.

It only took two days to catch the frogs I needed from this location. Even when they're abundant, they're not easy for me to catch! So, now I'm in Iowa, back on schedule. The weather has turned rainy for a day or two and I still have a couple of reports I need to finish, so now I'm working in a coffee shop. It's nice to just sit inside for a while after spending so much time chasing after frogs.

1 comment:

Mama bee said...

Glad to see you're back on track and doing well.