9.30 today: snapping frog

SnappingFrog24May2009

Cute little things frogs, aren’t they?

But not if you’re this emerging Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly.

LibellulaEmerging

This one had a narrow escape – as it was climbing up the grass at the edge of the pond to find a place to begin shedding its skin, our little froggy friend above took a big snap.

Luckily for dragonfly, but not for froggy, the dragonfly was too big to fit the frog’s mouth.

And in this little drama we saw something that’s probably common, which usually goes un-remarked.

My standard guide to amphibians, the latest Collins New Naturalist on amphibians says:

‘Feeding [by frogs] occurs exclusively on land, with frogs emerging on mild damp nights in the spring and autumn in search of food’.

The earlier New Naturalist says:

‘During the breeding season the frogs do not eat at all, and after this those frogs which remain in the water for some weeks invariably leave it to feed’.

Well, obviously not. But it makes sense. For a frog, if there’s a big tasty snack emerging right in front of your nose, go for it!

And its not the first time I’ve seen this: last year I saw a frog snapping up (it didn’t miss) the unfortunate male of a pair of egg-laying Large Red Damselflies.

Given what a tiny amount of time I actually spend looking at the pond, this suggests that frogs snapping up dragonflies and damselflies might be more common than meets the eye.

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