Thursday, March 18, 2010

Common Frog (Rana temporaria)

The frogs eventually started spawning in my garden pond last week, almost one month later than normal. The temperatures in Ireland over the past 2 months have been the lowest for 50 years. There are only 3 species of amphibians found in Ireland: the common frog, the smooth newt and the natterjack toad. Until recently the prevailing scientific opinion was that frogs were introduced into Ireland somewhere between the 10th and 16th century. However, a recent genetic study, published in 2009, suggests that Irish Rana temporaria differ genetically from British and Western European populations. The UK scientists who conducted the genetic study of populations of European common frogs have put forward the hypothesis that a population may have survived in a glacial refuge during the last ice age. European phylogeny of the common frog (Rana temporaria): routes of postglacial colonisation into the British Isles, and evidence for an Irish glacial refugium. Heredity (2009). Well, whatever about all that, my frogs survived the recent cold snap and they are ready to multiply!

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