Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) (North America) egg herping

Bill B

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I was wondering if you of you has ever looked for Spring Peeper (P. crucifer) eggs? In many ways the species is very similar to other members of the genus Pseudacris, but the others, or at least the striped chorus frog we have here in lower Michigan, lay their eggs in large masses, while peepers lay eggs herbaceous and woody plant material, but both live and dead / from previous years, singly or in small groups up to 30. Has anyone actually observed what they quite sure are Spring Peeper eggs?

I went a pond in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, area on Sunday April 9 in ponds that I know I produce Spring Peeper tadpoles/metamorphs. I know the local striped chorus frog species typically comes out of hibernation earlier (they choose overwintering sites more open so the ground warms up faster), call earlier, and probably breed earlier. I look for small groups of peeper eggs near where what seem to chorus frog egg masses and checked the single/small groups of peeper eggs. No luck. And I checked the pond where I see lots of metamporphs later in the year in previous years. I gave up looking even though I tried a lot even though I am quite sure quite a few have bred already.

Even downed leaves can be egg-laying sites for Spring Peepers, as the photo in C. Kenneth Dodd's 2013 two-volume book shows.

Anyone?? Bueller? Bueller?
 

Bill B

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Well, as I mentioned, being out this past Sunday... getting tired of looking. I was about to go home, and then I thought about the one pond that had lots of mosses growing in it, and along the edge it is right near the surface. I getting too impatient to look for eggs themselves then thought, "maybe they are in these chunks of mosses and I just can't see them". So I grabbed several chunks, almost randomly, thinking that if they are in there and I set them in an aquarium with a sponge filter, I will see tadpoles.

Kazam!

Today, tadpoles are in the aquarium. As far I as I know, Spring Peepers are the only frog species in this area that would eggs like that. Toads lay them in strings, but my understanding is that toads were not active in this area until Monday evening's rather warm rains. (Another herper I know who lives about 40 miles south of me posted photos of toads that were hopping around during/after those warmer rains on Facebook.)
 
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