chapter  16
4 Pages

The Frog That Gambled and Lost

ByMichael J. Lannoo, Rochelle M. Stiles

Crawfish Frogs are resilient and will establish populations at new sites when habitat becomes available and animals are close enough to colonize. One huge advantage Crawfish Frogs have over many other threatened and endangered species is that they can produce large numbers of offspring—Crawfish Frogs have no trouble making babies. Survival rates of captive-reared Crawfish Frog tadpoles exceeded those of wild tadpoles by nearly a 100-fold. Throughout the scientific literature, Crawfish Frogs have been called slow, clumsy, and stupid—characteristics that have been interpreted as producing the poor competitive performances of tadpoles and juveniles. Considering Crawfish Frog behaviors relative to other frogs, Crawfish Frogs are slow. Crawfish Frogs inhabiting crayfish burrows are immune from most environmental insults. Imagine a Southern Leopard Frog sitting near a Crawfish Frog at its burrow with an oversized modern agricultural tractor bearing down on them, pulling a moldboard plow rig.