Here is a gray tree frog to say welcome to taro critters, part 2. This is my first success after years of trying to get some to colonize my taro buckets in Iowa. He was first heard calling 6-10-09, by Lucy (who took pix) and Elias.
There are some great videos that let you see and hear the call of the gray tree frog.
You can barely see the pond where our success started. (The pond is maintained by DLNR folks who know far more about frogs than I do. The main thing they do is to make it "fish free".) The date was 6-23-08 and it was prime season for catching polywogs.
Same pond in November just so you can see it a little better.
Here is our catch of polywogs. In other ponds I used to catch zillions of polywogs, looking in vain for ones with red tails. In this pond it seemed like all of them were the right kind.
We had a good home for the tadpoles - an old wading pool had been set out a month earlier, and by now was full of algae. The polywogs thrived, and turned into frogs and disappeared a few weeks later. I did not see or hear of them again until the next June.
This picture scrumped off web is excellent to show you the red tail of a gray tree frog polywog.
The other way to recognize tree frog polywogs is that their eyes look out sideways rather than up.
These are not tree frog eyes.
Switching to Hawaii frogs, here is a shot of one of the poison dart frogs on black aspalt.
One of the times I see the frogs is when I top up the water in the trashcan taro ponds.
Mosquitoes are something that results from having a "fish free" pond. Along the top of the water you can see what I call "commas". These guys are days away from being mosquitoes. Below are the less mature stage I call "I's".
Here are just the "I" type.
A new fish type for me this summer is bass (I think). This one is at least thinking about going after a comma mosquito larvae. It takes a pretty big fish to eat commas.
The bass were pretty easy to catch in fishing ponds, in the shallow water, early in the summer when I needed fish the most. I just taped a dip net to a broomstick and dragged it thru the grass.
A school of mosquito larvae will form when you add a fish to their water.
The action here is not easy to see, but there is a fish in the lower left of the picture, and a bunch of mozzie larvae staying away from him along the top.
Just a shot to show you how critical it is to have something white below the water so you can see the mosquito larvae at all. This water is full of them, but you can only see the 2 above the white PVC pipe.
My favorite fish is still what I think is an "orange throated darter". They are in the perch family, and, indeed, they tend to perch someplace like on top of a rock, rather than swimming around constantly.
A better shot from someone on web - these are orange throat and rainbow darters.
Dragonflies will probably find your pond, and they are excellent at keeping mosquitoes down to almost zero. Here I was trying to get a picture of one that loops between the taro ponds in front of me over to some other ponds behind Jamie's yellow bug.
Here's the dragonfly overhead.
Another stolen pic, sorry. But here is a great shot of a dragonfly larva. If you are catching polywogs you may also get a few of these little rocket bugs. (The only downside is they can catch and eat many of your fish, etc. You might want to look into mellower damselfly larvae. Or raise them in a separate pond.)
See ya later - here is a green anole enjoying a few bugs in the pii alii taro patch.
(Part 1, the original critters page of the growing taro site, is http://raygrogan2-ivil.tripod.com/tarogrowcookeat/id8.html .)