Friday, June 8, 2012

More Foam Nesting Frogs

Another species of frog we found in Lopinot Valley on Thursday morning was the Whistling Frog, Leptodactylus fuscus. Whistling frogs lay their eggs in foam nests within small burrows at locations that will flood with increased rainfall. Locating nests is tricky. But, Roger Downie has developed a technique that includes probing the soil with small sticks until a nest is found, removing the mud cover, and exposing the foam nest. Below is a photo of a whistling frog foam nest and an adult Leptodactylus fuscus. As rainfall increases, the nest will be covered with water and the tadpoles will escape into the pool, or be washed into a pool by runoff. Should the rains be delayed the tadpoles will stay in the nest and produce more foam (undoubtedly with a different chemical composition) to prevent desiccation and deter predators. Which is why Dr Paul Hoskisson is a microbiologist of Strathclyde University is here. Hoskisson is examining the structure of proteins in frog foam, both foam made by the parent frogs initially building the nest and the foam mad by the tadpoles.

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