Out on a Limb

This week we’ve selected an intimate image of wetland fauna from the Wetlands of British Columbia Flickr photo group. Many of us have admired their echoing “ribbit” (they’re the only frogs that have this classic call!) but haven’t had the opportunity to photograph them…and definitely not this well.  The Pacific Tree Frog pictured in Sandy Stewart’s photograph titled Out on a Limb, seems to be quite comfortable perched on a Devil’s Club (Oplopanax horridus) branch, despite its thorns.  

Taken on Vancouver Island, north of Crofton, Sandy Stewart’s image exemplifies the beauty that is found along the damp areas of the Pacific coast. This small frog needs water to breed and is often found in Riparian habitat. They feed on all kinds of insects and arthropods, some as large as they are, and have a nifty technique of twitching a toe to attract their prey until it is in reach of their long tongue. Although they’re pretty cute, their eggs are an important food source for many other amphibians, including the Rough Skinned Newt. The frogs themselves are prey to many small mammals, reptiles, snakes, raccoons, herons and egrets, making them a particularly important link in the coastal food chain.

Here’s what our photographer had to say alongside her image:

A little Pacific Tree Frog can be seen on a limb among the deep green foliage that it uses to camouflage itself from predators. It can even change its color to better suit the environment that it occupies at the time. Pacific Tree Frogs will wait motionless for long periods of time waiting for unsuspecting insects who might venture too close and end up as a tasty meal for the frog!

I feel fortunate to live in a rural area near some natural treed habitat, as well as a nearby swamp where I enjoy listening to frogs singing and viewing various ducks swimming. In the spring some frogs make their way into my yard where I get to enjoy seeing them in my gardens.

Sandy Stewart’s photograph is now in our feature gallery BC Wetland Photo of the Week. Congratulations, Sandy!

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