Amphibians


This tree frog was sitting on the guard rail at the side of the road, contemplating the view across a pond. It didn’t move even when I stuck the camera right in its face!!

Information on the Amphibiaweb site: here

Hyla japonicaHyla japonicaHyla japonicaHyla japonica

Amphibia: Hylidae (new world tree frogs)
Hyla japonica
= nihon amagaeru

Location: In orchards and bamboo/pine forest above Yokoyama Village (Google map)

Driving home from the Education Center in Sasaguri, I came across a nice little park on the side of a mountain. The pond was full of life, including lots of these black-spotted pond frogs (tonosama-gaeru) and their tadpoles (otamajakushi).

pondRana nigromaculataRana nigromaculataRana nigromaculata

Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae
Rana nigromaculata = tonosama-gaeru
= black-spotted pond frog

Managed to catch another huge bullfrog (ushigaeru ) on the way home last night. It seemed to be dazzled by my headlights and wasn’t too difficult to catch. I showed it to the kids and then took it to a rice paddy in the morning to release it. Took some pictures first and had to keep grabbing it when it tried to escape. Finally I put it in the rice paddy water and only managed to get one photo before it took off in giant leaps through the field!

bullfrogbullfrogbullfrogbullfrog

Amphibia: Ranidae:
Bullfrog = ushigaeru = Rana catesbeiana

I was driving home in the rain late last night, when this huge bullfrog leapt out in front of the car. I swerved to avoid it then jumped out of the car to try to catch it. Just managed to grab its legs as it was in mid-leap and aiming for a rice paddy. I didn’t have anything to put it in, so I just took my shirt off and wrapped it in that! I was very near home, so I thought it would be OK. Put it into a fish tank with a bit of water and some ferns (the first thing I found in the garden). What a beauty this frog is! I took pictures of it in the garden this morning and it tried to escape (it can hop in one-meter bounds) but I caught it again in the neighbor’s garden. Mr Imaya (neighbor) said that they get even bigger than this and you can still eat them in some restaurants (no thank you!)
Apparently, this species was introduced from North America and it has become widespread in Japan. (About 15 of these frogs were brought to Japan in 1918 by a Tokyo University professor). The bullfrog eats insects, worms, fish, small snakes, etc and is not thought to cause much harm to the Japanese ecosystems it inhabits.

Amphibia: Ranidae:
Bullfrog = ushigaeru = Rana catesbeiana

bullfrogbullfrogbullfrogbullfrogbullfrogbullfrogbullfrogbullfrog in defensive stance (also noisy)