Frogs copulating in trees

In Shizuoka, Sakiko and I saw an amazing natural phenomenon—the “mori-aogaeru”, or forest green treefrog.

These frogs climb up into the trees in late spring and have orgies involving one male and up to half-a-dozen females (look closely at the picture), the results of their labors taking the form of foam-like whitish-yellow egg sacks they leave attached to the tree. When the eggs hatch, the polliwogs fall into the pond below the tree where they commence their lives. Yes, that’s right—it’s very important for the parents to choose a tree not only that is above the water now, but one that will be above water in a month or so when the eggs hatch.

Apparently these frogs live only in Japan. Ko claims to have seen some around his nursery school near Hase Kannon. We asked about other locations near Shizuoka and were told that most were in private gardens. The ones we saw were at Seiganji, a temple near Shizuoka.

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