Walking along a recently abandoned beaver pond we were, our son and I. Although the beavers have apparently moved on to create a new pond, this one still held a lot of water – in fact it was almost full. At intervals along the pond’s edge green frogs waited to catch a meal. The male frogs were calling to attract girl frogs and intimidate rival males.
Green frogs are common in freshwater wetlands throughout the eastern United States. They will travel fairly long distances overland between wetlands and quickly colonize new areas. Green frogs can be distinguished from the larger bullfrog by their distinct raised dorsolateral ridges where their backs transition to their sides.
Female green frogs are larger than the males; the males have bright yellow throats and larger tympanum (an ear-like organ), double the size of the eye –
A female green frog at the beaver pond shows that females’ tympanum are smaller, about the size of their eye –
As we walked along we saw a disturbance in the water. At first it seemed it might be caused by a pair of mating frogs, but no – it was two male green frogs in a tussle.
The males would occasionally call and repeatedly bump chests which included much pushing and shoving –
Eventually the larger of the two males seized the smaller around the chest in a dominant position –
After watching the goings-on for a while we moved on. As for the outcome, we don’t know. In the past I’ve seen female wood frogs that have been drowned by amorous males. Being cold-blooded, frogs don’t need as much oxygen as mammals or birds so the the smaller frog may have escaped before it drowned – we’ll never know.