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Luzon Wart Frog

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago


Description and Rationale

 

 

Known as “palakang bukid” or “Fejervarya limnocharis”, the rice field frogs are edible Philippine frogs that are famous for their taste and size. They live mostly in the rice fields, streams, ponds, water canals, and almost everywhere with water, vegetation, and insects. They can be identified by their slippery, smooth skin, and large legs. About 10,000 - 20,000 eggs are laid each year from April to September. However, only about 30%or less are hatched and live up to the tadpole stage. Unfortunately, palakang bukid or the rice field frogs are one of the most endangered frogs in the Philippines, especially in the cities. The extinction of the frogs is caused by excessive use of pesticides, herbicides, inorganic fertilizers and other chemicals that are used in the rice fields. One of the other reasons might be because of humans, who are trying to catch them and use them as their food.

 

What can we do to avoid palakang bukid from getting extinct? The best way is to raise these frogs in a protected environment where most of the eggs would be able to hatch and become adult frogs. Since these frogs lay about 10,000 – 20,000 eggs each year, raising the eggs would result in abundance of the frogs.

What is the impact of palakang bukid or rice field frogs on the Philippines? What do the Filipinos do with the frog? One of the best things that frogs can do is to eat insects, such as flies and mosquitoes, which can cause harmful diseases. There was an event that the dengue fever spreaded around the Cordillera region, when the frogs were getting extinct. Another impact of frogs on humans is that they provide food for the people living near rice fields and farms. People who live in Bulacan, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija enjoy the frogs as their main dish. They make fries, adobo, and sinampalukan (Philippine soup) using the frogs. So, what are the possible ways of developing Philippines through the rice field frogs? The best way is to grow the frogs, and sell it when it is fully grown. With the money earned by selling frogs, the frog raisers can invest more money in raising the rice field frogs and improve their standard way of life.  

The initial purpose of this project will be to research the biology and ecology of the palakang bukid or the rice field frogs living in the Philippines through a search of the internet and the interview of native Filipinos. The research through the internet and the interviews would further explore palakang bukid’s restoration and usefulness.

 

It is hoped that high reproduction of palakang bukid might help improve the livelihood of the people living as a farmer through the increase in number of these frogs, to help them have enough food and money for them to develop their way of life.

 

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Biology

 

 

 

 

 

Common Names and Synonyms

Fejervarya limnocharis is also called the palakang (meaning frog) bukid (meaning rice field, field) in the Philippines. Some of its common names include rice field frogs, field frogs, and Alpine cricket frog. Rana limnocharis is another synonym for Fejervarya limnocharis.

 

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Amphibia (Amphibian)

Order: Anura (Frog)

Family: Ranidae (True frogs)

Genus: Fejervarya (one of the 39 genera of true frogs)

Species: F. limnocharis (several ovules)

 

 

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Morphology and Physical Description

The frogs’ sizes vary from 2 inches up to 7 inches or around 5cm to 21cm when stretched. It can be identified through its long toes on its hind legs, the slightly raised skin ridges on its ventral surface, and its white belly. The frog has a pointed snout that is projecting (extending) beyond mouth, has half-webbed toes, visible tympanum (middle ear).

 

Frogs’ legs are made typically to catch prey and escape predators. The frog skin is able to absorb water directly through its skin fast. The skin allows them to hide from its predators using camouflage.

The call of a frog is unique to its species. Frogs call by passing air through the larynx (vocal organ) in the throat. However, the sound is amplified by one or more vocal sacs, membranes of skin under the throat, or on the corner of the mouth that extends during the amplification of the call. Some frog calls are so loud, that they can be heard up to a mile away

 

 

Getting Food

Limnocharise are predators, preying on insects mostly but also on some smaller frogs and fish. Frog’s tongue, which is attached at the front of the mouth instead of at the rear, is covered with a sticky substance, that is used to catch the insects.

Since these frogs live in rice fields, they also eat bugs living under the water, rice stubbles, and algae attached to rocks and plants. When the frogs spend their juvenile (tadpole) stage in the water, they eat all kinds of biotic factors, including dead fish and even water fleas.

 

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Reproduction

 

 

Limnocharise lays eggs from April to September (dry season), laying their eggs on a leaftop above water. As they lay their eggs, the jelly-covered eggs would sink to the bottom of the water, but soon, the jellies surrounding the eggs would absorb the water and float on top of the water. After the female lays about 10,000 to 20,000 eggs, the male frog fertilizes them from outside, and places them in an egg mass. Then, the eggs are hatched after 5 to 10 days. Only about 30% of the eggs survive and live up to tadpole stage, most tadpoles being eaten by other frogs or fishes, unable to adjust, or accidentally get lost. Most of the frogs are philopatric, meaning returning to natal pools to breed.

 

During its tadpole stage, they have dorsal or fin-like appendages tail, which allows them to swim like most of the fish. As the tadpoles mature, their tail gradually disappears and legs develop, along with lung development. Lastly, they would come out of the water to breath air, and their small round mouth would change to a large mouth the same width as their head.

 

Environmental Factors

Frogs are amphibians, meaning that they can live in both water and ground. Most prefer moist regions such as ponds, rice fields, trees, and swamps to keep their skin moist, which is necessary for their survival. Without any water or moist, the frog’s skin would eventually dry, killing the frog. When the water is scarce, the frogs will tend to congregate around the wet areas.

 

The temperature of the surrounding of the frog does not harm the frog unless the temperature is too hot or too cold, because the frog adapts its body temperature to the temperature of the air and water around it.

 

However, there are no diseases or illnesses that palakang bukid cause, but there are many germs and bacteria that are living on the skin of the frog, as the frogs live in ponds, or any play with water, full of bacteria and algaes.

 

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Origin and Distribution

The limnocharis is originally from most of the countries in South East Asia, Japan, and other tropical Asian countries. The limnochrise can now be found in South Asia. It ranges from India and Sri Lanka, through Thailand and southern China to Japan and Taiwan, the Philippines, and down through West Malaysia, Singapore, and the major Indonesian islands.

 

 

Importance to People

The frogs are important to human beings. They prevent humans from getting harmful disease such as dengue fever by eating mosquitos, as well as many kinds of insects. Frogs can also be used as antibiotics, drugs, or medicines. Frogs are part of the ecosystem and part of the food chain, which means that they affect many creatures.

 

The frogs are source of food in some countries, such as the Philippines. Especially for farmers in the Philippines, as they discover a lot of palakang bukid or Fejervarya limnocharis, they cook the frogs as their ‘main’ dishes. As these frogs are available in the Philippines, especially for the farmers, they can save farmers’ profit for foods can be saved by cooking the frogs without any cost.

 

There are several farmers, who grow the frogs, along with farming, to earn more wages by selling both frogs and crops. There are also businesses in the Philippines that earn money through selling Palakang bukid, which is a creative idea to earn money. However, in order to grow the frogs, a lot of money needs to be invested for the preparation of the frogs’ houses and food.

 

 

Survivability and Endangered Status

The resilience of the palakang bukid is in the state of getting extinct. It has been one of the most abundant frogs in the Philippines and in other countries of South Asia, but as the destruction of the forests in the Philippines, pollutions, and pesticide agriculture are getting worse, the frogs are becoming endangered. However, they are plentiful in the provinces, or in the rice fields of the Philippines, especially during the rainy season (October – March). They may be competing with bullfrogs or any other edible frogs, which can be bigger and found easily more than palakang bukid.

 

 

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Potential Solutions

 

Is the palakang bukid’s presence in the Philippine rice fields useful enough to the farmers of the Philippines? How can palakang bukid be essential to the people of the Philippines? Through the interviews of the Filipinos, who know enough information about palakang bukid and have tried eating and catching the frogs, it is possible to know how important the frogs are and how they benefit their livelihood. Further research and interviews of the Filipinos would be required to discover more about the usage of the frogs, such as how they are used. Below are 3 possibilities with an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages for each.

 

 

Possibility 1 FROG SKIN

With well-scraped, dried, and treated skin of the frog, it is possible for it to be crafted into accessories and paraphernalia, such as coin purses, bags, wallets, key chains, and seat covers. It was found that toad skins are being used and manufactured as leather products around the world.

 

Advantage:

 

1.      It is found that each frog leather bags or coin purses cost about 200 pesos in the Philippines. However, in the US, the real frog coin purses are sold at a price of $20 or higher. With the income through selling these, their livelihood would improve rapidly. 

 

 

Disadvantages: 

 

1.      Though making the paraphernalia with the frog leather may sacrifice fewer frogs than cooking, this might also later cause the extinction of the frog.

 

2.      Many people around the world thinks the frog skin leathers are disgusting, with weird color and shapes. This may cause the frog leather products to be sold fewer, not providing enough profits to those who make the frog leather products. 

 

 

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Possibility 2 PET

As I was surfing web sites, I found out that bull frogs are used as pets frequently in US or other countries. Then why not palakang bukid?

 

Advantages:

 

1. Growing palakang bukid as pets in houses or farms would highly increase the reproduction rate of palakang bukid. If the eggs are well-protected, there will be higher percentage of eggs becoming adult frogs.

        

        2. When palakang bukid lays eggs and the eggs grows to mature frogs, it will be possible to sell, cook, or grow them again, which might be very useful to the frog raisers, providing them with high profits.

 

Disadvantages:

       

        1. Frogs are one of the most sensitive animals around the world. They might avoid eating foods, which would starve them to death. Therefore, in order to keep the frogs comfortable and safe, a lot of money needs to be invested to buy the frogs’ houses (aquarium), foods, and plants.

 

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Possibility 3 FROG MEAT (My Action Step)

 

 

Though meat is known for its chicken-like taste. Some people say the frog meat tastes even better than the chicken! In Korea, because of the frogs’ nutrition and protein, people began to catch the frogs, which resulted nearly an extinction of the frogs.

 

For my action step, I went to China Town, Philippines, and bought 10 pieces of palakang bukid, five frogs were plainly fried, and the other five frogs were fried with chili sauce. Five people tasted the frogs, and the chart below shows their response to the frog meat, such as the taste, the frogs’ benefit to the livelihoods of the Philippines, and any comments about the frog meat.

 

 

 

                       

Was it delicious???

Would it benefit the livelihood?

Comments

Yes

No

Yes

No

 

Person 1

O

 

O

 

Tastes like chicken

Person 2

O

 

O

 

Really good!

Person 3

O

 

O

 

Tasty

Person 4

O

 

O

 

Tasty

Person 5

 

O

O

 

Uncomfortable to eat

 

 

Advantages:

 

1.      The high income could highly develop the livelihood of the Philipinos. Currently the China Town markets in the Philippines, sell palakang bukid for 100 pesos (US $2) for the live ones, and 20 pesos (US .$40) for the dead ones.

 

2.      The meat, which is full of nutrients and proteins and tasty, could be used as their main dish to keep them healthy.

 

3.      God has given us everything what we need. We are to use those resources and the creatures wisely and with care. I believe eating the frogs are no different to eating other animals. Therefore, using the frogs for health and the development of the Philippines is much better way to use the frogs, rather than just killing it or just to dissect.

 

Disadvantages:

 

1.      Hunting palakang bukids may cause them to extinct as the time passes by. This may too cause an incident to happen like in Korea, which is the banning of catching, eating, and selling of the frogs. Also, the amount of meat of the frog is very small compared to their actual sizes. Therefore, huge amount of frogs might be needed in order to cook a proper food. This may cause the extinction of the frogs even faster.

 

2.      The extinction of the frogs may cause all kinds of insects, such as flies, mosquitoes, and water fleas, to overflow and cause diseases and harm the crops in the rice fields.

 

3.      I have bought a palakang bukid at a price of 100 pesos to eat it, but killing this innocent creature for food is too cruel! I decided to grow the frog, instead of eating it!

 

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Bibliography

 

 

Baker, Nick. “Field Frog.” Ecology Asia 18 April 2007.

             http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/amphibians/field_frog.htm

 

 

Jalas Marry. Personal Interview. 6 May 2007.

Khan, M. S.Fejervarya Limnocharis.” AmphibiaWeb   30 May 2002.

http://amphibiaweb.org/cgi-bin/amphib_query?query_src=aw_search_index&tab   le=amphib&special=one_record&where-genus=Fejervarya&where-species= limnocharis

Stuart, Bryan. “Species Profile – Fejervarya Limnocharis.  AnimalDetective.com  8 April 2007.

             http://animaldetective.com/Profiles/Fejervaryalimnocharisprofile.html

 

 

Tal Judit. Personal Interview. 6 May 2007.

All About Frogs For Kids and Teachers.” Kiddyhouse.com 9 October 1999.

             http://www.kiddyhouse.com/Themes/frogs/frogs.html

Fejervarya Limnocharis.” Wikipedia.org. 2007. 9 January 2007.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fejervarya_limnocharis

Fermilab Frog FAQs.” Fermi Frog. 10 August 2001.

 

             http://ed.fnal.gov/projects/frogs/froggiesfaq.html

 

 

Frog HabitatsFrog ‘A’ Topia.  1 May 2007.

http://library.thinkquest.org/J002220/habitat.htm

 

 

Rasing Frogs (For Meat) EntrePinoys Atbt 28 July 2006.

http://entrepinoys.blogspot.com/2006/07/raising-frogs-for-meat.html

 

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