Baby frog and turtle photos

Baby common frog, June 2014

Thanks to Lizia, after her earlier baby common frog photos, another baby common frog photo from a bank near the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Netherlands, made earlier this June.

Red-eared slider turtle, June 2014

And this photo of a feral red-eared slider turtle there, feeding.

Baby common frogs at museum pond

Young common frog, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, June 2014

Lizia in The Hague was so kind to send me her photos of baby common frogs, just past the tadpole stage, in the pond of the local Gemeentemuseum, early this June.

Young common frog, The Hague, June 2014

The young frogs have to watch out for feral turtles and grey herons.

Flowers, frogs and damselflies

Allium flower buds, 9 June 2014

9 June 2014 in Groningen province. We hear a chaffinch. We see these Allium (onion relative) flower buds.

Allium flowers, 9 June 2014

Not so far away, later, the same plant species in a more advanced flowering stage.

Greenfinches and spotted flycatchers live here as well. And roe deer, often nibbling on the plants.

This year, young kestrels in the nestbox. Last year, kestrels did not use the box.

Black rampion flowers.

This is a black rampion video.

Dodder-grass, 9 June 2014


Dodder-grass, on 9 June 2014

And more dodder-grass, further on.

Orange hawkweed flowers.

A pheasant flies away.

Many plant species growing together.

Oxeye daisies and other flowers, 9 June 2014

Including oxeye daisies.

And purple salsify; and meadow salsify.

Great burnet, 9 June 2014

And great burnet.

And field cow-wheat flowers.

And meadow clary.

The Pulsatilla‘s flowers are finished already.

Finished composite flowers, 9 June 2014

As are these Asteraceae composite flowers.

Common broomrape, a parasitic plant, is still flowering.

So are harebells.

And field scabious.

Orobanche purpurea is another parasitical plant; a parasite on Achillea here.

Rampion bellflowers.

Small scabious.

Purple toothwort.

Common blue damselflies embrace, 9 June 2014

Two common blue damselflies in heart-shaped embrace. With other individuals, like the single male on the left of this photo, flying past. Like the female blue-tailed damselfly on the right of the photo.

Blue-tailed damselfly female, 9 June 2014

There were more blue-tailed damselflies. Like the female on this photo.

Both common frogs and edible frogs live in the pond. And smooth newts.

Edible frog and marsh horsetails, 9 June 2014

This edible frog is between some of the many marsh horsetail plants.

Edible frogs mating season, video

This video is about edible frogs during mating season near Hardenberg in the Netherlands.

Freddy Goosselink made the video.

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Smooth newt looking for leaves, video

This is a video about a smooth newt, looking for water plant leaves to deposit eggs.

While a chiffchaff sings.

Henk Lammers Hupsel in the Netherlands made the video.

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Baby salamanders, baby fish, flatworm and beetles

Flatworm on egg spoon, 31 May 2014

After the birds and flowers on the biodiversity day on 31 May 2014, to small animals living in water. Like the flatworm on this photo. This worm was photographed on a small egg spoon with water on it. A macro lens was really necessary to photograph a tiny animal like this. Research still has to find out which flatworm species this is.

Many small animals were caught with a landing net in the ditch near the allotment gardens. Water is rather clean there, so much biodiversity.

There were various leech species. Like Erpobdella octoculata, which was named in 1758 by Linnaeus. And Theromyzon tessulatum; which lives in ducks’ bills. One female Theromyzon tessulatum had eggs.

Bugs included specimens of water boatman; a species which may survive in polluted water. There was also the lesser water boatman. And a much smaller related species: Plea minutissima.

And a saucer bug as well.

There were nymphs of various damselfly species.

Crustaceans were represented by an aquatic sowbug.

Common bladder snail, 31 May 2014

And mollusks by a common bladder snail.

Meanwhile, a reed warbler sang.

There were various, still small, common newt larvae.

Among the very smallest animals were Cyclops and Daphnia crustaceans.

Not in the ditch, but in reed beds along the ditch: a beetle species, Donacia vulgaris.

Edible frog sound.

One very small fish is caught. Too young still to say which species. Among fish species living in this ditch are: northern pike, perch, ninespine stickleback and spined loach.

A water mite. One of scores of species in this ditch.

Finally, a great silver water beetle larva.

After the research, all animals went back into the ditch.

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New frog species discovery in India

This video from India says about itself:

Breeding Behaviour Part I

27 March 2014

Male and female Kumbara frogs do courtship behaviour by standing on their hind limbs and touching each other. In the clip above, after the initial courtship the female touches the twigs, where it is likely to oviposit later on. The male keeps calling ‘tok tok’ as the female is very close by. After this inspection, female positions herself for the axillary amplexus.

This video from India says about itself:

Breeding Behaviour Part II

15 May 2014

After the axillary amplexus, male and female position themselves upright. Later, female initiates the clockwise rotation with male and she makes a head stand and releases all the eggs. Just a fraction of a second prior to oviposition, male gets separated from amplexus, but sits close to the female that is ovipositing.

And this video says:

Breeding Behaviour Part III

15 May 2014

The male comes back to the oviposition site and starts applying mud to the egg clutch. This can go on for 30-40 times as long as all the eggs are covered. Once done, male starts calling again from the nearby area.

From National Geographic:

New Frog Mates Doing Handstands, Does “Pottery”

Posted by James Owen in Weird & Wild on May 16, 2014

A new species of frog with some bizarre mating rituals has been discovered in India, a new study says.

Found in swampy forests of the Western Ghats (map), the Kumbara night frog (Nyctibatrachus kumbara) mates while doing a handstand and then daubs its eggs with mud to protect them—the world’s only known frog species known to do so. (See: “Weird Purple Frog Seduces Females From Underground.”)

Hence the new frog’s name: Kumbara means “potter” in the language of the Uttara Kannada region of western India where the species lives, according to the research, published May 16 in the journal Zootaxa.

When the male and female meet, they stand on their hind legs and touch the potential egg-laying site—usually a twig, plant, or rock that overhangs a stream, said study co-author Kotambylu Vasudeva Gururaja, an amphibian researcher at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Then, during mating, the female performs a handstand with the male still on her back and starts laying her eggs, said Gururaja, whose team has observed and filmed the nocturnal frog, which was first glimpsed in 2006.

Mating Acrobatics

The male, having fertilized the spawn, leaps off, but the female remains in the handstand egg-laying position for up to 20 minutes.

The study team suspects the pair start out standing on their hind legs in order to indicate where they want to lay the eggs, “but that needs to be checked out,” Gururaja said. (Also see: “Pictures: Mouth-Birthing Frog to Be Resurrected?“)

This ritual may also be a way for the female to check whether the male literally measures up.

“We hypothesized that the female might be checking the length of the male, since he will release sperms just a fraction of second prior to [egg laying],” he said. “If he is too small, sperms may not reach the eggs that are being attached against gravity.”

That may be why females don’t always go on to mate with smaller male suitors, Gururaja noted.

Amphibian Pottery

After the female lays up to seven eggs, the male takes over—revealing a previously unreported method of parental care by frogs. (Watch a video of a male Darwin’s frog spitting out its young.)

“They fill their two hands with mud, stand on their hind legs, then apply the mud,” Gururaja said. “They use their fingers in a similar way to us.”

This plastering job may take 25 minutes, and can involve 40 to 50 trips to the streambed and back, according to Gururaja.

The eggs themselves are secured tightly to the twig, he added, and are difficult for even a human to remove.

The study team suspects the frogs position their spawn above the stream and then conceal it to protect against aquatic predators like freshwater crabs, which “will eat anything, including frogs,” Gururaja said.

The mud casing may also play a role in helping to prevent the eggs from drying out. After a week or so, the tadpoles emerge and drop down into the stream.

Frog-Rich Region

The Kumbara night frog is just the latest in a string of recent frog discoveries from the Western Ghats, a range that extends up and down India for 990 miles (1,600 kilometers). (Related: “14 New ‘Dancing Frogs’ Discovered in India.”)

In 2011, Sathyabhama Das Biju, head of the Systematics Lab at the University of Delhi, described 12 new species of night frogs, including one that makes a meowing sound.

Nyctibatrachus as a genus has amazing diversity in breeding behavior,” Biju, who wasn’t involved in the new study, said in an email.

He agreed the males’ mud-plastering is “unique,” adding that some frogs cover their eggs with mud to camouflage them and prevent them from drying out.

But the new frog’s egg-plastering technique, in combination with its other unusual breeding antics, “is an exciting find.”

“I believe more species will be described from this genus in the coming years,” Biju said.

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Fourteen dancing frog species discovered in India

This video says about itself:

8 May 2014

Scientists have discovered 14 new species of so-called dancing frogs in the jungle mountains of southern India – just in time, as scientists fear they may soon become extinct.

From Associated Press:

Dancing frog species discovered in Indian jungle mountains

14 species of acrobatic amphibians found in Western Ghats, a region expected to be hit by changing rainfall patterns

Thursday 8 May 2014 10.18 BST

Scientists have discovered 14 new species of so-called dancing frogs in the jungle mountains of southern India.

Indian biologists say they found the tiny acrobatic amphibians, which earned their name with the unusual kicks they use to attract mates, declining dramatically in number during the 12 years in which they chronicled the species through morphological descriptions and molecular DNA markers. They breed after the yearly monsoon in fast-rushing streams, but their habitat appears to be becoming increasingly dry.

“It’s like a Hollywood movie, both joyful and sad. On the one hand, we have brought these beautiful frogs into public knowledge. But about 80% are outside protected areas, and in some places, it was as if nature itself was crying,” said the project’s lead scientist, University of Delhi professor Sathyabhama Das Biju.

Biju said that, as researchers tracked frog populations, forest soils lost moisture and perennial streams ran inexplicably dry. He acknowledged his team’s observations about forest conditions were only anecdotal; the scientists did not have time or resources to collect data demonstrating the declining habitat trends they believed they were witnessing.

The study listing the new species published Thursday in the Ceylon Journal of Science brings the number of known Indian dancing frog species to 24. They’re found exclusively in the Western Ghats, a lush mountain range that stretches 1,600 kilometers (990 miles) from the western state of Maharashtra down to the country’s southern tip.

See also here.

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Jay, blackbirds and tadpoles in the botanical garden

Jay, 25 April 2014

We were still in the botanical garden on 25 April 2014. As I wrote, near where the brook flows into the carp pond. Pondskaters in the brook there. And a beautiful jay on a tree.

Jay among flowers, 25 April 2014

Later, it sat down among the flowers close to the waterfall.

Blackbird female, 25 April 2014

A female blackbird.

Blackbird male, 25 April 2014

There are male blackbirds too.

Blackbird males, 25 April 2014

In a small pond for yellow water lilies in the systemic garden, tadpoles, as small as those in the big carp pond.

Tadpoles, 25 April 2014

When we returned to the debouchment of the brook, the carp was gone, but the tadpoles were still there.

Near the astronomical buildings, a robin singing.

Egyptian goose, 25 April 2014

On the canal bank, an Egyptian goose, cleaning its feathers among the flowers.

A carrion crow.

A greenfinch in a tree.

In the Victoria amazonica hothouse, a blue morpho flying away from a feeder. A warden tells us that tropical butterflies were brought here a few weeks ago. At first, there was trouble with mice eating butterflies just hatched from the pupa phase, when they don´t fly yet.

In a tropical aquarium, wrestling halfbeak fish. And Atyopsis moluccensis freshwater shrimp.

Leaves, 25 April 2014

Some leaves on trees looked superficially like autumn, though it is spring.

Dove tree, 25 April 2014

The final photo is of a dove tree.

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