The role of substrate moisture and dew in the water economy of leopard frogs, Rana pipiens

TitleThe role of substrate moisture and dew in the water economy of leopard frogs, Rana pipiens
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1967
AuthorsDole JWalter
JournalCopeia
Issue1
Pagination141-149
KeywordsWATER
Abstract

In summer, adult Rana pipiens, which normally reside at considerable distances from ponds, depend upon soil moisture as their primary source of water. Water is absorbed through the skin of the groin while sitting on the damp soil. Under controlled laboratory conditions leopard frogs dehydrated to 65-75% of their hydrated weight, can, on the average, completely recover the lost water in 48 hr when on sand with a moisture content of 20%; on sand with only 10% water content, only about 50% of the lost water is reabsorbed in 48 hr. Dew, absorbed through the groin by sitting on wet vegetation, may be used as a supplementary water source by leopard frogs when available, but is apparently not necessary if sufficiently moist soil is available. Occasionally, under extreme arid conditions in the laboratory, leopard frogs have been observed to bury themselves; such behavior in response to lack of moisture is probably not common in nature, however.