Thursday, November 14, 2013


This Cuban Tree Frog was in one of my open barrels at the school aquaponic system. The barrel is 3/4 full of water with duck weed and iris floating in it. I tossed some gambusia minnows in some time ago and mostly the barrel system maintains itself, quietly growing minnows for when we need them.

Last week the students and I were doing some system maintenance and I happened to peer down into this barrel.

Staring back at me was a very light colored tree frog.

I grabbed him for an ID shot, the one you see above, and then tucked him back in the barrel since you have to be careful about killing anything in front of today's students.

Everyone is so sensitive that even euthanizing an exotic destructive animal is risky.

One school system south of us was successfuly sued for big money when the teacher let the kids watch a snake feed on a live mouse.

Yes, the teacher should have known better in this PC world, but still ... what a ridiculous law suit.

Anyway ... my master plan was to return later and recapture Fidel so he could take a nice, humane sleep in the lab freezer,  but alas he was gone.

While looking for him, I noticed a horde of suspicious tadpoles in the barrel. I think we will do a clean out of that barrel and transfer the cute little poliwogs to the large aquaponics tank.

It's a cozy tank with a pugnacious, and always hungry bluegill sunfish.

Curiously ... there are no tadpoles in that tank even though it's 2 feet from the Cuban barrel.

I'm sure that's just a coincidence.


kevin said...

Speaking of invasive species, I've decided to start a save the python campaign in the Everglades. After all, they're as indigenous to Florida as the manatee. And I don't have to slow down for them if they are within a mile of my boat....

Python probably isn't as tasty as manatee, though.

Gin said...

It seems common sense walked out the door years ago.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Sample scenario: Naturalist leads school field trip. Redtail swoops down and grabs a squirrel, then kills it in front of kids. Lawsuit pending?

What do they think snakes eat, flapjacks??

Deploy the Bluegills!!

Caroline said...

Jeez, don't let them read about Julie's Fergus!
Bio kids dissected fetal pigs yesterday, I took pictures. Probably shouldn't post those, I might be in big trouble with somebody, huh?

Aunty Belle said...

Youse kiddin' right? the lawsuit wuz successful? on what merit??

Yep, the Cuban has to go. Lucky bluegills.

The world grows more insane by the day.

Hope youse doin' swell.

roger said...

don't let your students see the bluegills eat the polliwogs. how old were the traumatized students?

Florida Beach Basics said...

There's an annual contest at Bond University, Australia, calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term.

This year's chosen term was 'political correctness'.

The winning student wrote:
"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of **** by the clean end."

Floridacracker said...

"Deploy the bluegills!" has to be the funniest battle cry ever.

And Marge (Beach B) That definition is exquisite.

For the suit questions ... I think the county was Hillsborough and it was a "traumatized child" type case. It was anecdotal by a teacher from the county where it happened, told at a science teacher training last summer.

Already dead dissections are pretty acceptable as long as options are available for those who object. I have no problem with that and ... I limit dissections anyway for a number of reasons, some personal and some related to the high stakes End Of Course exams guidelines.

I shall be deploying both bluegills and pvc pipe treefrog monitoring stations around the school.

At my house(PFHQ) where no Cuban Treefrogs have been sighted, it has been a stellar year for green treefrog reproduction. Tiny emeralds are everywhere as are the adults.
That's a smiler.

misti said...

Not wanting to kill invasive animals is just as bad as people who are in love with invasive plants. I give you and there's a plethora of internet resources on invasion biology with people intent on saving invasive species.

Dan said...

It's a pity they are a problem, because they are such appealing animals otherwise. What we need is a spey/neuter program for Cuban treefrogs.

Floridacracker said...

The more appealing the harder it is to do the hard, right thing in my experience.

Take the whole feral cat disaster for instance ...

Floridacracker said...

For the record, the bluegills have been deployed.

Floridacracker said...

For the record, the bluegills have been deployed.