It’s March, so it must be time for the frogs to start croaking their intentions! Our pond is suddenly seething with noisy, rambunctious males, all competing for the attentions of the few females. They take up their positions and wait, croaking all the while. As soon as anyone moves, or another frog surfaces, they all pile over there and jump on it. There is much jostling and grabbing and then the male (for it is almost always a male) gives a ‘release croak’ – the amphibian equivalent of ‘gerroff, I’m not a girl’ – and they all resume their positions. There are three pairs in amplexus, the mating hold, where the smaller male manages to grab himself a big female and hangs on for dear life. The other males then try at regular intervals to unseat him.
We have an unusually coloured female, deep brick red. She appeared in our pond soon after we created it (almost 4 years ago) and has been around ever since. This is the third breeding season we’ve had and it’s nice to see she’s still around.