Seasonal migration and reproductive behaviour of the Common River Frog (Amietia quecketti)
The Common River Frog Amietia quecketti is a well-known and widely distributed species in southern Africa. Despite the fact that it is a common species and quite prevalent in urban areas little is known about its behaviour. The North-West University Botanical Gardens was selected as study area as it supports a healthy population of Common River Frogs at a series of 18 water bodies. Each pond in the Garden was assigned a reference number and the surface area, depth and vegetation were noted. Frogs were located with the aid of strong flashlights. Specimens were caught by hand and transferred to clear plastic bags. Frogs were sexed and their mass and their snout-vent length (SVL) were determined. Frogs were subsequently individually marked by means of injecting a micro-transponder (pit-tag) subcutaneously. Field observations were conducted over two consecutive evenings every two weeks for a period of one year. On the first night all sites were visited and all frogs were scanned and their position, orientation and activity were noted. During the second night focus was on Pond 6 as it sustained the biggest population. Observation started at 19:15 and continued until 02:30. All frogs in and around the pond were scanned and detailed notes were taken, focusing on their orientation, behaviour, calling activity and distance to the nearest other frog. Results showed that limited movement between ponds in the Garden does occur. A number of individuals were recorded regularly. Some males had preferred call sites, and clear circadian and seasonal patterns with regards to males and females exist. The complex call structure consist of a chuck and a whine and then a combination of the two.