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How Common are Red frogs in England?

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mynewt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mynewt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2006 at 10:31am
I guess you'd have to capture large numbers of froglets from wild vs suburban populations and raise them for a while til they show their true colours - not an easy thing to do !   If I'm right, there should be no significant difference between odd colours in frogs derived from wild areas and those from suburban areas, provided they're raised in identical conditions.

With reference to Trevor Beebee's work, I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that he did a genetic analysis of urban frogs looking for heterozygosity at specific gene loci, as an indication of inbreeding, and found more in urban than rural populations.   On the other hand, even an occasional input of fresh genes from a frog down the road can boost the variation in a population for a long while.   This raises the whole controversy of spawn swapping - inbreeding dangers vs red leg etc once again, of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2006 at 11:34am

My problem with this is there seems to be more to it.

The Boulanger frog appears no different to many observable in wild populations, the 'odd' frogs seem to me different in many aspects to more 'normal' healthy specimens I observe.

I guess I could say it is a bit like seeing a rabbit with the last stages of myxomatosis, you don't need to know what caused it to instinctively feel something is 'wrong' with the animal.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mynewt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2006 at 3:14pm
I agree Gemma - truth is, I just like the Boulanger illustration - there is definitely something more unusual than just an orange-ish female frog situation in some of these urban frogs.   But my main point is simply that  I think it might be worth investigating the hypothesis that this sort of maladaptive trait might be less selected against in the cosseted world of the back garden than in the rough and tough of 'the wild'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2006 at 4:10pm

I think it may well be, not sure of the raising lots of frogs, being perhaps one of the worst captive subjects I can imagine! I wonder though if a field measurements/notes could be collected? If it could be defined which traits were 'odd' and which normal perhaps we could move towards seeing if it does occur generally more in garden populations? I can certainly sample some population of 100+ wild frogs that I think would generally return 'normal' results from past observations.. could this work with RAUK members also keeping an eye out for the 'odds'

PS I liked the Boulanger illustration, thanks for sharing it

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mynewt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 5:27am
Good idea Gemma; one for the spring, perhaps - we could make a note of 'odd colours' in breeding frogs at 'wild' vs 'garden' sites, when there is a large sample size.

Of course it wouldn't tell us whether if there IS a significant difference whether this is due to inbreeding and genetic drift, or less natural selection against odd colours in suburbia, or a combination of both.   That would then need the tricky follow-up of raising loads of froglets in netted enclosures - MSc project anyone ?

And, as you say, there would be the problem of accurately defining what we mean by 'odd' colours and 'the wild' vs 'suburbia / gardens'; anyway, I'll try to do some work next spring - something to look forward to while we're all roasting at the moment..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cavy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2006 at 6:09pm
Woops!  I've edited my previous post to now show pic of my red frog (who is sadly now deceased).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2006 at 3:58am

For what it's worth when I visited Skomer Island a couple of years back, I noticed all the toads there were brick red.

Could these localized colour variations be due to a local food source?  Perhaps a particular mineral gets into the food chain. Like the small shrimp that flamingoes eat and which gives them their pink colouration.

Deano
Better to be lucky than good looking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mhows Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 9:30am

There were large numbers of brick red froglets at Tichwell RSPB (Norfolk) reserve at the weekend, in the the woodland between the car park and visitors centre.

 

Mark

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Molliecat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 12:39pm

I have only just found this thread. I did post photos of my red frog a few days ago -  http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1626 &get=last

Ours, as you can see, is quite a vibrant red. It brought to mind something I saw years ago where rodents living near a chemical factory were fluorescent yellow. I wondered whether something in this frog's environment might have contributed to its colouring, but then it is one of a large number of frogs in the pond - and all the others are normal in appearance.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neshiah474 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2010 at 5:27pm

Hi,I was speaking to a friend today (10th) and she showed me pictures she had taken of a red frog thats been in her pond for the past two years.

I said I would do a bit of research to try and find out what kind of frog it is

Its not sort-of-red but very red. I would gladly upload the pics but don't know how this would be achieved. Could someone please tell me how to do this. Many thanks. Neshiah474.

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