© 2012 Todd Pierson (1 of 0)
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China, Japan, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of, Russian Federation
The species lives mainly in wooded regions; it rarely occurs in unwooded areas. The frog lives mainly in broad-leafed and mixed pine-broad-leafed forests, coniferous forests, valley groves etc. At the western limit of its range, in the Zeya River valley, this species inhabits riparian forests consisting of poplar, alder, willow etc. At the northern border of its range, in Yakutia, the frog occurs in wet lowland meadows, osiers, edges of mixed forests and willow-birch groves. Spawning occurs in stagnant and semi-flowing water in puddles, swamps, ponds, lakes, ditches and river pools.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Hibernation occurs from the second half of September - early November to late March - early May, depending on latitude, weather and habitat. The frogs hibernate in water, mainly in swift-flowing rivers and streams with stony bottoms. Hibernation in groups, sometimes of more than a thousand individuals, is typical. Mass mortality caused by hypoxia is typical in the frog hibernacula. Reproduction occurs from late March - second half of June (usually in April - May). Breeding choruses are typical. Amplexus is pectoral. The clutch contains about 350-4000 eggs. The embryos develop more rapidly within egg masses than within single clutches. Many breeding ponds dry before the end of embryogenesis. In such cases large aggregations of spawn have a better chance to survive during periods with no rain than do individual clutches. Metamorphosis occurs in the second half of June - late September, but usually in late June - July. Sexual maturity is attained probably in the 2nd-3rd year of life; the maximum age is 5-6 years.
Algae, higher plants, and detritus compose the main food of the tadpoles. In contrast with many other syntopic amphibians, the larvae of this frog often attack the eggs of their own species and those of the Siberian Newt (Salamandrella keyserlingii), sometimes totally destroying them. Newly metamorphosed froglets prey primarily on Acarina, Collembola, Thysanoptera, Hymenoptera, and Cicadodea. Adult individuals primarily eat Mollusca, Aranei and Insecta. They prey upon not only terrestrial but sometimes aquatic invertebrates. Feeding does not stop during the reproductive season, at least in some individuals.
Trends and Threats
Relation to Humans
This frog is an important component in traditional Chinese medicine. Before the October Socialist Revolution 1917 in Russia, the valley of the Razdolnaya River in the Primorye Region was one of the main areas of its mass collecting by Chinese people. When this collecting was stopped, frogs from Heilongjiang Province in China were collected. Special frog farms were constructed in China for breeding and management of commercial stocks of the wood frogs. Nevertheless, in the 1990s, many Chinese people have immigrated to the Russian Far East and the mass collecting of R. dybowskii, mainly in Primorye Region, has resumed. Although local inspectors and customs prevent some cases of the frog overcollecting and illegal export, the problem remains real. Rana dybowskii is well adapted for life in an anthropogenically altered environment. From the point of view of synanthropization, it resembles the European Common Frog (Rana temporaria): it is common in secondary forests, in hayfields, gardens, parks etc. It also occurs in some large cities.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat
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Written by Sergius L. Kuzmin (ipe51 AT yahoo.com), Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
First submitted 1999-11-10
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2007-12-06)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2007 Rana dybowskii: Dybovsky's Frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/5024> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 21, 2019.
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