Showing posts from August, 2012

Bullfrog update: Interdepartmental collaboration

For those of you following the progress of our Bullfrog ( Lithobates catesbeianus ) after his recent leg surgery .... He is holding steady, eating regularly and beginning to act like a Bullfrog again. He is not completely out of the woods yet, but if attitude means anything, his prospects looks good. On Tuesday, 'Romeo' as he was named by Val (his original rescuer and Curator of Aquatic Ponds) underwent his second surgery to attempt to heal his poor leg. This time, staff and volunteers from the Conservatory, Conservation and Horticulture departments all contributed to Romeo's recovery (photos by Julia Rittenhouse). Val comforted Romeo, as I held the light while once again, Gene did the hard part. A concerned Anthony wanted to be there and make sure Romeo pulled through ok ... and he did! Romeo is quite a trooper, and again, he seemed to know we are trying to help him. This afternoon, and Anthony is feeling good about Romeo's progress.

Captive breeding update: Our first San Jose Cochran frog out of the water!

One of the many things I love about my job is learning about these amazing species first hand, and some of these 'lessons' take quite a while. This is certainly the case with these little Panamanian Glass frogs tadpoles ( Cochranella euknemos ), the first of which has metamorphosed after a year and a half in the water! San Jose Cochran frogs ( Cochranella euknemos ) are in no rush to metamorphose. Here is the first Glass froglet of its cohort, finally poking it's forelimbs through after a year and a half as a tadpole. Here is our first f1 San Jose Cochran frog. At the time of this writing, it has fully resorbed its tail and has been offered its first snack — tasty Springtails

Our first San Jose Cochran Frog metamorphs!

Cochranella euknemos , the San Jose Cochran frog stands out among an already stunning group of frogs Yesterday was a big day in the Amphibian Conservation Program with the metamorphosis of our first Cochranella euknemos froglet! They hatched over a year and a half ago and we have been patiently caring for the bright pink tadpoles in the frogPOD since that time. Glass frog larvae are even more transparent than the adults! One of our volunteers admiring the C. euknemos breeding group in the frogPOD

Volunteer helps one of our Garden bullfrogs in need ...

Frogs — being an important part of our ecosystem — are a favorite food for a host of natural predators such as birds, turtles, snakes and even other frogs. The Bullfrogs inhabiting the various outdoor aquatic ponds at the Garden are no different, and this week one of our favorite Bullfrogs from the Aquatic Plant Pond almost fell prey to an unknown predator! He was found Thursday morning with one of its hind legs bitten almost completely off. Here is our 'V.I.F' last August, showing the telltale oblong tympanum which, along with his bizzarre behaviors,  distinguishes him from the other amphibian inhabitants of the Aquatic Plants Pond. A Garden visitor holding the subject of this blog post and the friendliest Bullfrog I have ever seen. This particular Bullfrog gained some popularity last August when it became the Garden's first V.I.F. (to quote Val, the amazing Curator of Aquatic Plants). Last year, he displayed some very un-frog-like qualities when he actually

It's great to be back!

It has been a busy summer here in the amphibian program. For me, it was hard to be gone for the entire month of June, and then again for another week last week at IHS. The Costa Rica exhibit. This picture illustrates the differential leaf side preference of the two resident species of Tree frog. Lemur frogs typically sleep on the underside of leaves, whereas glass frogs will stick to the tops. Here are some recent pictures of some of the frogs I missed so much while I was gone, many of which are currently in breeding groups for the summer... Incilius conifera (Bufo conifera) | Green spiny toad in the Panama exhibit Splendid leaf frog | Cruziohyla calcarifer in the Colombia exhibit. One of our newest additions, the Green and black poison frog | Dendrobates auratus The Green and black poison frogs were shy at first, but now you can usually see at least a few of the five at any point in the day. Here they are in a 'coconut hut' placed in there to enco