Tadpole's all grown up, but no ID

Need some help to identify a frog (or tadpole or egg mass)? Sounds like a job for the collective minds of the Community. Photographs and/or recordings are greatly appreciated. Results guaranteed (All money cheerfully refunded).

Moderators: Chris Key, Gerry Marantelli, Mod Squad

tropicbreeze
frog
frog
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:27 pm
Location: Northern Territory

Tadpole's all grown up, but no ID

Postby tropicbreeze » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:26 pm

First noticed this tadpole early March in my shade house in about an 8 litre container. It was on its own and must have been at least a few weeks old. It showed no development over the next couple of months. In May I put it into a small plastic aquarium and kept it inside. Fed it on lettuce and waterlily leaves. It seemed to also clean up algae on the inside of the aquarium.

Image

Very late June it had become quite fat and hind limbs were starting to grow. For about a week development was slow then it matured very rapidly. The front limbs developed virtually over night. A few days ago it began to come out of the water, but up the vertical sides of the aquarium and not the stick that was inside. It's finally lost its tail but I haven't released it yet. Will do so in the shade house where it was born.

Image

Image

I thought once it morphed an ID would be fairly obvious. But I can't work it out. Can anyone give any clues as to what it might be, thanks. Current size is about 20 mm SVL.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Aaron
frog
frog
Posts: 967
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:09 am
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Postby Aaron » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:29 pm

Hi,

Your metamorph is a Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea). The dark stripe through the eye fades with age and some of the spots may fade as well. I find that 'herringbone' pattern on the tail musculature is usually a good clue that the tadpole is that of a Green Tree Frog as well.

Aaron

tropicbreeze
frog
frog
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:27 pm
Location: Northern Territory

Postby tropicbreeze » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:23 pm

Thanks Aaron. Was a bit surprised at first but after I put the aquarium out in the shade house it seemed to lose the yellow spots, although the dark mark through the eyes seemed to be getting more distinct. Was looking more GTF-shaped.

Seems unusual that although GTFs are one of the first to start off the breeding season here, this tadpole seemed very late. Also, only one in that small container. Would a female GTF only lay one egg? And leaving morphing until mid July wouldn't work in nature, everything is well and truely dry before then. At the time most water dried up around here the tadpole didn't even have rear legs.

User avatar
Aaron
frog
frog
Posts: 967
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:09 am
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Postby Aaron » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:07 pm

A female frog wouldn't lay just the single egg in my experience, so it is unusual to just have the one tadpole by itself. Is it possible an egg may have been transferred to the container on a plant or something similar?

Tadpoles are quite clever and flexible when they need to be. If there is a permanent source of water they will take as long as they need to metamorph. If the water level starts to drop or conditions deteriorate, many species have the ability to speed up development and enter the frog stage in order to have a better chance of survival. Most of the Green Tree Frogs tadpoles here in Sydney metamorphosed by autumn but I still have a few very large ones swimming in the pond, so they will probably leave the water in Spring when it warms up again.

Aaron

tropicbreeze
frog
frog
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:27 pm
Location: Northern Territory

Postby tropicbreeze » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:55 pm

A definite mystery. There are a number of shallow trays and this approx. 8 litre container in the shade house. They get topped up with water from the sprinklers and they help to maintain higher humidity in there. No plants were moved in around that time, and definitely no water plants. Only after taking that first photo I put a waterlily leaf in there to see if the tadpole would eat it.

In the early part there would have only been a bit of algae on the sides of the container, and not much as it was in shade. So not much food. Made me wonder whether they're cannibalistic and this one was the "last left standing" so to speak. I did put 3 large Giant Frog tadpoles in a container with a lot of leaf matter for them to hide in. Later there was only one. In a sheltered spot, not likely anything else could have come along and taken them. And they can't jump out. The last one became very large and fat. So I suspected cannibalism. No direct proof though.


Return to “Identification”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests