Spurn Spawn!

By Ruth D’Alessandro, The Wildlife Gardener “We’ve got loads of frogspawn. Would you like some for your pond?” is the question most asked of the Wildlife Gardener at this time of year.

Tons of spawn

And when my answer is a firm “No thank you”, the response is usually “Why not? I’ve got far too much.” In the spring, the Wildlife Pond resembles a bowl of tapioca. The water boils with copulating amphibians and soon it is just a jellified mass. Surely far too much spawn? Why not take it out? Continue reading Spurn Spawn!

Do frogs squeak?

The Ranger’s correspondent in Fratton writes as follows to pose an intriguing question to readers. He even includes an illustration to fire your imagination.

Squeak!

Perhaps this is like the occasional absurd question that crops up in the Answers section of a certain internet service provider, like ‘do fish know when they are wet?’ I suppose it all began a couple of years ago when a neighbour dug a pond, and over the course of time frogs started to appear, as did the council’s offer of free compost bins. So out with the old fold up bin, and in with a sleek big black bin looking like a cross between a stove and a dalek. Time to exterminate some of that kitchen waste, grass cuttings and the like ” the usual composty stuff. Then one day I lifted the lid and glaring back at me were five frogs, which quickly leapt down to the sides of their palatial compost home. A couple of weeks ago a small frog ended up in the lid as I lifted it. The dear frog leapt to the ground while I tried to catch him and put him back, but he was too fast. There he hid behind the bin before leaping out; then he looked at me, opened his slimy chops and squeaked, just like, erm… a squeaky toy! And after his third and final long squeak off he leapt.

It probably didn’t sound much like this (above)

Do frogs really squeak? Or was this particular chappie’s voice yet to break to an adult croak? I haven’t heard any further squeaks. So next time you compost (waste that is), try chasing a frog, have a listen, and you may be surprised by what you hear. Tim

So, dear readers, any suggestions? The Ranger has plenty of experience of frogs and particularly toads hissing, croaking, and sometimes puffing themselves up when threatened. But squeaking? That’s a new one. Was this frog just making defensive noises to threaten a perceived predator? Or had it learnt a new trick?

Follow-up: it seems that frogs most certainly do squeak. there are plenty of anecdotes to support it – just look at the comments below.