Rana Pipiens Essay Research Paper Leopard Frog

Rana Pipiens Essay, Research Paper

Leopard Frog – Rana Pipiens Distribution: Found throughout Ontario but

more abundant in southern and central Americas. Range: Adults maintain small

home ranges (up to 500 m2) in fields or open forest during the summer. Where

terrestrial habitats are quite dry, home ranges include some shoreline. A

minimum of 4 ha of terrestrial habitat is recommended for the vicinity of

breeding sites, however, individual adults may move several kilometres away.

Most recently metamorphosed froglets stay within 20 m of shoreline although some

froglets begin dispersal before metamorphosis is entirely complete. Diet: Larvae

eat algae, phytoplankton, periphyton and detritus. Adults eat mainly

invertebrates but will also take tadpoles or very small froglets. Reproduction:

Successful breeding sites are permanent ponds, marshes, or pools or backwaters

of streams. Eggs and tadpoles require warm (prefer 18o – 28o C), shallow, sunny

areas. Breeding occurs from mid-March to mid-May in southern Ontario, and a few

weeks later further north. Metamorphosis occurs in 2-3 months. Tadpoles require

minimum oxygen concentrations of 3 ppm. Habitat: Relative to bullfrogs and green

frogs, leopard frogs use open fields more and prefer denser terrestrial

vegetation. In aquatic habitats, submerged vegetation, detritus and soft mud are

used for cover. Lookout/Sunning Froglets require muddy shorelines, lily pads,

rocks, logs or beaver dams with clear access to deeper water. Adults prefer

unmowed fields (15 – 30 cm high, no more than 1 m high vegetation) or open

forest in the vicinity of shallow open marshes. Connectivity/Corridors Corridors

may be required among breeding, hibernation and summeringhabitats, within 2 km.

These may be either aquatic (streams or rivers) or terrestrial (field or forest,

usually not cropland except during periods of irrigation). Hibernation Hibernate

in deep or running water that will not freeze solid or become anoxic. Are found

hibernating on muddy substrate or under rocks, sunken logs, leaf litter or

vegetation. Oxygen levels at one known successful hibernation site were 7 ppm.

Tadpoles metamorphose in the year of hatching. Hydrology Permanent wetlands with

fishless areas or near fishless (temporary) wetlands. Breeding requires

sufficient water for metamorphosis to be completed (mid-late August).

Soils/Substrate In water prefer muddy bottom. On land prefer moist soil, leaf

litter or moss. Design Criteria Vegetation Prefer egg-laying sites with emergent

vegetation on about 2/3 of edge and submergent vegetation in 1/2 of surface area

in May. Structures Rocks, logs, floating vegetation or dams to sun on, with

access to deep water. Submerged vegetation, logs or rocks to hide in. Soils,

Slope, & Substrate Prefer wetlands with gradual slope at edge. Hydrology

Hibernate in streams with minimum depth 90 cm, moderate mid-depth water

velocity, minimal sedimentation, and rocks with average diameter of 20 cm.

Critical Periods Breed April-June, metamorphose July-September Other

Considerations Froglets are used as bait for fishing. Has declined in much of

its western range and apparently in northern Ontario. Tadpoles and froglets are

vulnerable to predation by large Bullfrogs and fish.



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