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Transformation occurs rapidly.  Eggs we collected on June 5 metamorphosed by June 25 (20 days).  The literature indicates that the tadpole stage can last 2-8 weeks.  This species exhibits the phenomenon of synchronous metamorphosis.  Perhaps as a response to predation.

Unusual Specimens Encountered During Our Study

A leucistic eastern spadefoot tadpole.

 

Comparison photos of a normally colored individual (top) and the leucistic specimen (bottom).

 

This is an amplexed pair found during the day after a nightly breeding bout.  When the top male fell off, the female exhibited a possible malformation or deformation.

 

This frog is exhibiting bilateral ectromelia of the forelimbs.  According to Amphibian Declines:  The Conservation Status of United States Species, information on disease and parasites of this species are unknown.  NARCAM only has 3 reported cases of malformations in this species for Virginia.  Bilateral ectromelia has not been documented.

Acknowledgment

Thanks to Mark Gibson for all his assistance in the field.

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