LIFE BEGINS (Wood Frog Eggs)

Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)

Wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) serve as troubadours of springtime in SouthCoast wetlands.  Their distinctive quack-like croaks can be heard as March temperatures crack the mid-40s and even before cheery spring peepers serenade the marsh.  

Wood Frogs Haunt Spooky SouthCoast Wetlands

In this video from mid-March 2012, behind the scary theme music you can hear the raucous chorus of amorous wood frogs heralding another mating season in Southeast Massachusetts.

Neverending Winter in Southeast Massachusetts

Despite this neverending winter in the Northeast, with wetland trails still covered in ice and snow, the Turtle Journal team visited several SouthCoast swamps and bogs on Sunday as temperatures “soared” (sic) into the low 40s. 

Frog and Salamander Egg Masses in Shallow Bog Channel

In an abandoned Marion cranberry bog, we found a large number of assorted frog and salamander eggs affixed to reeds under a thin layer of overnight ice in shallow channels closely abutting the surrounding woodlands.

Wood Frog Egg Masses in Shallow Washburn Wetlands

With bright late March sunshine, temperatures reached the mid 40s in Marion’s Washburn Park, where the warm shallow water of bog channels enticed hundreds of wood frogs to bask and breed.  Egg masses were clustered in sunny areas throughout the swamp.

Wood Frog Egg Mass Closeup

Examination of the egg masses indicated that they may have been freshly deposited as eggs seemed to be in the early stage of development.

Closeup of Dividing Wood Frog Eggs

A closeup of individual zygotes appear to catch eggs in cleavage at the 2 and 4 cell stage.

Closeup of Dividing Wood Frog Eggs

The closeup above captures individual zygotes in the process of division.

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