June 18, 2017
See-through Frogs: Great Dads
- as seen by -Samuel Bozeman
The reticulated glass frog is unique among the glass frogs because the male of this species exhibits the most specialized egg guarding and care. He will guard the eggs 24 hours a day until the tadpoles emerge—defending the eggs from predators such as grasshoppers, katydids, flies, wasps, and spiders. The male will sometimes go as far as to place himself over his clutch in an attempt to convince would-be predators to target him rather than his eggs. His translucent appearance confuses predators as they are unable to distinguish between the adult male and the transparent jelly encasing the embryo. Beyond deterring predators, the male glass frog must also ensure that his offspring remain moist by transferring his own body moisture directly onto the eggs.
Another method that the male uses to hydrate the eggs is “hydric brooding.” Hydration of the eggs is achieved by the male emptying his bladder onto the egg mass directly. Males have also been seen using their limbs to channel rainwater onto the mass.
Sex determination of these frogs can be rather easy; due to their transparency—eggs can be observed through the skin in females. The eggs are usually deposited on the leaves of trees or shrubs hanging over mountain streams, creeks, and small rivers so that tadpoles have easy access to water after emerging. Unlike the reticulated glass frog, males of other species in this family tend to their eggs for a day or two, but will eventually leave.
Read Part 1 of See-through Frogs here.
Nikon D5, R1C1 Strobe Kit, Nikon 60mm Lens