The Frog Pond News
Source: Michigan State University
Protecting Honeybees with Frog Eggs
Ground-breaking discoveries by Michigan State Univ. researchers could help protect honeybees from deadly parasites that have devastated commercial colonies.
The MSU researchers for the first time were able to produce in the laboratory proteins that help channel sodium ions through cell membranes of parasites known as Varroa mites. The research, using cellular frog eggs, also found that these proteins react to chemicals differently than the sodium channel proteins in honeybees, a finding that could be a key to controlling the mites.
∼The insecticide used to control Varroa mites, fluvalinate, targets the mite sodium channel,∼ says Ke Dong, MSU professor of entomology. ∼But the mites are becoming resistant to fluvalinate. Successfully producing the mite sodium channel in the lab now allows scientists to develop new chemicals that target the mite sodium channel but don't affect the honeybee’s.∼
Fluvalinate paralyzes the mite and eventually kills it. But in addition to the problem of growing mite resistance, the pesticide can harm bees and contaminate honey if not used.... Read entire story here: Protecting Honeybees with frog eggs
The research is published in the Dec. 4 issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Photo of the Month
This cuban tree frog swallowed a Christmas bulb...unbelievable without the picture, right? photo by James Snyder. More on the Story Here
Ranavirus hits Japan
As of March 9th, 2009, Japan's scientists have been reporting what they believe to be a masive outbreak of the dreaded ranavirus. They have had large frog dieoffs, and are still studying the cause. Read entire article... The Mainichi Daliy News.
RanaVirus Changing the Way Frogs mate
(As of July 29th, '09.) To Quote: 'Dr Amber Teacher, studying a post-doctorate at Royal Holloway, University of London, has discovered evidence that a disease may be causing a behavioural change in frogs. The research, published in the August edition of Molecular Ecology, has unearthed a surprising fact about our long-tongued friends: wild frogs in the UK may be changing their mating behaviour.'....Read more and learn how Dr. Teacher is discovering inbreeding becoming more rampant and it's results HERE
UV Radiation and Frogs It has been known for quite some time now that UVB radiation has been one of the factors in decreasing frog populations around the world. In 1989 many herpotologists discovered that UV is capable of damaging the DNA of frogs. This will ultimately cause mutation of the cellular structure of the frogs.
Unlike humans, most frogs are unable to create enough of a necessary enzyme called photolayse that would repair the damaged tissue (were the animal more highly evolved, such as we are). Because of this, many froggers are careful to regulate the amount of UVB lighting their frogs receive.
This is not to say all frogs have this problem. As an example, Phyllomedusine frogs are more inclined to be protected from this UV exposure, as in their natural environment, they live in a savanna-desert type climate.
There are other examples of frog species on earth that can also benefit from some exposure to UV. They include White's treefrogs and the Asian Rhacophorus (gliding) frogs. Frogs who are diurnal also have higher protection from UVB. As an example, frogs such as bullfrogs and greenfrogs actually bask at the edge of ponds and creekbanks!
For Advanced Researchers, here's an interesting read on aquatic ecosystems that you may find interesting. Sciencedirect.com has offered up this online .pdf file style book, Aquatic Ecosystems which is packed with information on nitrifying bacteria, plantlife and many other watery scientific style interests.
Save The Frogs Official Newsletter
Help us fight Climate Change!
∼ I want to make a difference, these wonderful animals won't be around forever unless people act now. I want to be part of that.∼ -- Save The Frogs Volunteer Simon Noble, United Kingdom
We may not have much control over the ongoing Copenhagen Climate Conference, but we still have a fantastic opportunity to take action against climate change...though we have to act fast!
In October, we wrote you to tell you that ClearChannel had offered Save The Frogs FREE advertising space in 5 major airports so that we could run a Public Service Announcement about ponds drying up in the American West. These huge posters are now posted in Denver International Airport, St. Louis International Airport, and at Chicago Midway, where they are educating tens of thousands of people about the effect of climate change on frogs.
However, we still need to raise $1,600 to print these posters for Chicago O'Hare International and Detroit International airports.
One of the posters for O'Hare will measure 11 feet long by 7 feet high, and will sit in one of the busiest airport corridors on the planet! We can't miss this opportunity to remind people that climate change is a problem NOW, and that it threatens every life form on the planet, even animals living in "protected" national parks. And we have to act fast, because the advertising space offered to us won't sit empty for long.
CAN YOU DONATE $25 SO THAT WE CAN GET THIS FULL-SIZE PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT UP IN CHICAGO O'HARE AND DETROIT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS?
Every $25 will ensure that one of these posters will go up for 8 days. Your support will ensure that thousands of people see these posters every day!
Please donate $10, $20, $50, or $350 and help us stop climate change and save threatened frogs.
An extremely generous anonymous donor has offered to match all donations to Save The Frogs through December 31st (up to $100 per donor, and $10,000 total). That means your donation this holiday season will go twice as far. Please take advantage of it, and help us protect the world's most endangered group of animals. Thanks!
Give The Gift of Membership - From Only $20!
Looking for a great gift to give your friend who loves frogs? Make them a member of Save The Frogs! They'll get some great gifts, and your gift will help support our one-of-a-kind frog conservation programs. Every additional member gives us a stronger voice on Capitol Hill each time we advocate for policies that protect threatened amphibian species!
∼ I love my membership! Please, please, become a member and help save some frogs and toads! Every member counts!∼ -- Red Frog Member Franceska Zweifler, from Bethesda, MD
A Brand New SaveTheFrogs.Com webpage
Between 1998 and 2002, nearly 15 million wild-caught amphibians were legally imported into the United States. Considering that there is also a large illegal trade in amphibians (the numbers of which are never reported) and that the United States...
Please visit SAVE THE FROGS for the rest of this critical news story!
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Around here, our comical bufo terrestris are a constant source of entertainment. Although nocturnal, ours don't seem to know this, and are up at all hours to thrill and please us with their presence. However, we found out quickly that things can become serious very quickly when one goes to clean their vivarium, as I learned first-hand!
Last week I went to break everything down, as it was monthly cleaning time. Since the tank is "toadally" inhabited, we elect to carefully remove the toads at this time, and place in a clean quarantine tank until the whole mess is done with. We also count each toad. (Colony tank~ should have been 11 of them)
These wonderful pets have in their enclosure; several large plastic tree trunks in which to hide. There are 3 holes in each, one in the bottom, one on the side and one at the top. They thoroughly enjoy crawling over and in it, as well as making them their permanent territorial home.
After gingerly removing all our toads, we then began to remove and rinse off the tanks' contents...which included the trunk-hollows. I peered into the hollows, as I had only counted 10 upon removing them. The tank was empty of toads, but where was that last little guy?
The normal routine for cleaning the hollows is a good strong rinse in well water (This removes any poops and pee in them) to be followed by a weak bleach rinse and then salt water soak overnight. This is followed by a good rinse and then a soaking in spring water for 2 or 3 hours, and they are returned to the tank.
Before doing the initial rinse, I shook the trunks over a foam-padded table top, just in case bufo no. 11 might be lodged in one. After what I thought was a meticulous search and no sign of Mr. toad, the well-water rinse began. This rinse I do with pressure to the water, to really break loose anything lodged inside. Holding the piece over a sink, I moved and shook it. But just as I was about to switch to the bleach rinse, I heard a small trilling from one of the hollows! It was my lost toad, backed into a small hole so compact I could not even see him! The shaking and blast of water must have finally made him speak!
My amazement, and then shock (of what I was just about to do with the bleach!) left me stunned for a moment. After recovering from the horror & thought of my frogs' mortality, I carefully set the tree-trunk down, and worked to dislodge its unhappy tenant.
There is a lesson in this story...Do a head-count on your frogs, and be sure you have everyone accounted for...my little baby was lucky...as was my heart! Never begin to sterilize a tank without knowing all animals are in your eye-sight.
Story by Alynxia
To submit your own classified, give all pertinent info, and mail to:Alynxia@gmail.com. The listing will be posted within 2 weeks and last for one month.If your classified should be answered, please e-mail Alynxia back with the number she's given you, to let him know her to drop your ad. This politeness will go a long way in allowing another listing to come up. Thanks.
Alynxia answers Questions
BHK wrote and asked:
'My frogs are incredibly noisy and eating like pigs! Too bad they are different varieties. Do they ever cross breed or can they? I have no idea what sex they are. I feel bad for them but I can't release them or they'll die when the temps drop.'
Answer: As to frogs 'cross-breeding'... Not really. if they are closely related in the same family, yes. Two examples. Litorias, commonly called Whites treefrog, (Australian origin) shown here: Litoria can crossbreed with other Whites treefrogs that have been long removed from Australia and live in Maylasia. The Maylasian variety has been removed so long that it has taken on new characteristics, and colorations. But they are still very closely related and have viable tadpoles if mated. A closer to home example would be the American Fowlers southern toad and the Fowlers (new england) eastern toad. They too, have been removed from one another geographically for many thousands of years, and have developed different characteristics (enough to be called two different species) yet will still crossbreed with viable tadpoles.
Many froggers who keep dendrobates (poison arrow frogs) force crossbreeding of species, and get it, but with hybrid (although beautiful) results.
Sexing frogs is easy if you're close enough to see them in their breeding cycles. In 99 percent of cases, it is only the male that sings. During breeding season, the males will develop 'nuptial pads' which are thickened, usually yellow colored "calluses" on their inner thumbs of front hand. The thumbs will look a bit deformed and point more inwards too. This is to help him grasp the female when they breed. In older bullfrogs, this is very easy to see. Sometimes the throats of male frogs and toads will also take on a yellow color during breeding season too. Lastly, in most species, the females are larger than the males, but there are several tropical frog exceptions to that.
Did you get your frog(s) from a tropical plant shipment? If from Florida area, I'd suspect them to be cuban treefrogs, or osteopilus species, shown here: Osteopilus They are very invasive here, but I could never hurt a frog!
Thank you for asking, I love it when people are interested in our frogs. They are dying worldwide so quickly and we are only now getting a grasp on what is wrong, and still might not be able to save them.
Children's Worldwide March of Frogs
Enocc.blogspot.com has some interesting news to share with the world. Children from Slovenia, Croatia, France, Lithuania, Finland, Estonia, Germany, Galati, Romania, Iran, Czech Republic, and Turkey did something great and educational for all of us adults this past year and into January of '09.
The March of Frogs went on to show the world that climate change is real, and threatening our frogs. Frank the Frog is their mascot, and children from the above countries all got together in their schools (from kindergarden and up) to learn about frogs and their plight on earth, create paper mache mock ups of frogs, costumes for their March of Frogs, and educational flyers and other materials to bring to the governments of their prospective countries to try and change the way the political systems of the world view climate change and the seriousness of frogs environmental infringement and other changes they are suffering.
The children also planted trees around the world. Not all countries participated in The March of Frogs, but children even in America's school systems helped to plant trees in many states. There is a map of the world and which countries particiapted in tree plantings on Enocc.blogspot.com.
Perhaps the North American school systems could get involved in such a project. It would be an enlightening and educational experience for the teachers and students alike, to be sure. I hope you take the time to visit their web-blog, especially if you are an Educator.
Anything Froggy! Cool Links
Want to see some wild looking Photoshop-morphed frogs and other herp pictures? Then go to www.telegraph.co.uk for more neat pictures like the one seen here! Besides the frog morphed digitals, the website has lots of interesting subjects you can thumb through.
These are the cutest little sculptured frogs you'll ever see! Very reasonably priced, and no overcharge for shipping, and there's no handling charges! I've personally ordered from Chris, the artist before, and they arrive quickly and perfectly packaged. Great one of a kind stocking stuffers!
When you visit her store, you be able to see other frog sculptures she's lovingly created, as well as whimsical dragons, insects and even arachnids! Click the froggy sculpture for the link to her site.
As seen on a couple of my pages, FreakingNews.com has lots of other digital morphed photos. A great website for already experienced Photoshoppers or those just getting around to using the program. Inspiring ideas from those already doing digis or newbies. Take a peek!
For Science style Links, go back up to the Science Section.
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