Posts Tagged ‘amplexus’

Amplexus gone wild!

March 24, 2016

A mass of mating Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. It's difficult to tell whether there are pairs of males and females in amplexus within the group of toads.

A mass of mating Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) was spotted in a vernal pool during a photowalk along the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park on 11 March 2016. It’s difficult to tell whether there are pairs of males and females in amplexus within the group of toads.

A mass of mating Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. It's difficult to tell whether there are pairs of males and females in amplexus within the group of toads.

It’s like the toads were playing either rugby (the pile of toads reminds me of a scrum) or “Twister.”

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Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Amplexus

March 22, 2016

Amplexus is the nexus between male and female frogs and toads that results in fertilization of eggs. Many mating pairs of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) were observed in amplexus in a vernal pool located along the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park on 11 March 2016.

The first photo shows a mating pair in amplexus plus another male interloper.

A mating pair of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) plus another male interloper spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The mating pair is in amplexus.

And action! The following photo — my favorite in the set — shows another mating pair in amplexus plus an aggressive male interloper. Notice the strings of toad eggs in the water.

A mating pair of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) plus another male interloper spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The mating pair is in amplexus. Notice the long strings of toad eggs in the water.

Look closely at the full-size version of the preceding photo. Notice the nictitating membrane covering the eyes of all three toads — a translucent third eyelid that protects the eyes of toads when they are underwater. Looking at the other three photos, can you tell which toads’ eyes are (or were) below water?

The next photo shows a mating pair in amplexus. Notice the long strings of toad eggs in the water.

A mating pair of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is in amplexus. Notice the long strings of toad eggs in the water.

The last photo shows another mating pair in amplexus.

A mating pair of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is in amplexus.

Answer Key: Photo 1) The male interloper is under water. Photo 2) All three toads are under water. Photo 3) Both toads are under water. Photo 4) Both toads are above water.

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Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Eastern American Toads (mating pair)

March 20, 2016

A mating pair of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is in amplexus. Notice the long strings of toad eggs in the water.

Many mating pairs of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) were spotted in a vernal pool during a photowalk along the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park on 11 March 2016. This pair is shown in amplexus, in which the male (top) holds onto the female (bottom): the female lays eggs in the water; the male fertilizes the eggs, externally from the female.

Notice the black-and-white strings of toad eggs in the water.

The eggs are laid in long spiral gelatinous strings and each egg is 1/25 to 1/16 inch in diameter. The eggs, 4000 to 8000 in number, are laid in two strings, and hatch in 3 to 12 days. Source Credit: eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

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Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Toad-ally in love! (Part 4)

April 26, 2014

The following pair of mating Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) was spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park on 12 April 2014.

American Toads (mating pair)

Eastern American- and Fowler’s Toads (Anaxyrus fowleri) are similar in appearance and often coexist in the same habitat. Fowler’s Toads are known to hybridize with other species of toads; this may be a pair of hybrid toads.

American Toads (mating pair)

The toads were mating in a small vernal pool located near the terminus of the Hike-Bike Trail.

American Toads (mating pair)

Notice the black-and-white strings of toad eggs faintly visible in all of the photos.

American Toads (mating pair)

Editor’s Note: This is Part 4 in a five-part series of posts featuring two types of toads commonly seen at Huntley Meadows Park: Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus); and Fowler’s Toads (Anaxyrus fowleri).

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Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Toad-ally in love! (Part 3)

April 24, 2014

The following photos show another pair of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park on 12 April 2014. The toads were mating in a large vernal pool located near the terminus of the Hike-Bike Trail.

American Toads (mating pair)

The pair of toads featured in this post and in Part 2 are quite different in coloration.

The color is highly variable, from brick-red through browns and olive grays to light gray. Source Credit: eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The reddish-orange color of the female toad is beautiful. (I thought I’d never use the words “toad” and “beautiful” in the same sentence!)

American Toads (mating pair)

Notice the black-and-white strings of toad eggs visible in all three photos.

American Toads (mating pair)

Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 in a five-part series of posts featuring two types of toads commonly seen at Huntley Meadows Park: Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus); and Fowler’s Toads (Anaxyrus fowleri).

Related Resources:

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Toad-ally in love! (Part 2)

April 22, 2014

The following pair of Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus) is shown in amplexus, in which the male (top) holds onto the female (bottom): the female lays eggs in the water; the male fertilizes the eggs, externally from the female.

Notice the black-and-white strings of toad eggs in the water.

The eggs are laid in long spiral gelatinous strings and each egg is 1/25 to 1/16 inch in diameter. The eggs, 4000 to 8000 in number, are laid in two strings, and hatch in 3 to 12 days. Source Credit: eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

American Toads (mating pair)

This pair of mating toads was spotted in a large vernal pool during a photowalk along the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park on 12 April 2014.

American Toads (mating pair)

Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 in a five-part series of posts featuring two types of toads commonly seen at Huntley Meadows Park: Eastern American Toads (Anaxyrus americanus); and Fowler’s Toads (Anaxyrus fowleri).

Related Resources:

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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