Monday, December 29, 2008

Frosty the Frog

If only I could do this,

A frog stones for the whole winter and not gets blamed for it.
Life's unfair.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Accidentally in Frogs

While skating at the tennis courts just now, i heard some anuran call in the drains.
Then, i walked towards the sound and saw 2 Asian Toads.
It was a good thing that i am now at RVR, otherwise i would have not gotten this few pics.
I hurried to my room to get my camera,
As i was walking towards the 2 love dovey couple, i saw a few more single and unattached Asian toads.
And more of them after i got a wedding picture of that couple.
I was pretty excited cos it was my first Asian toad couple i spotted in NUS.

The couple, post ROM

A single, available and desperate Asian toad wallowing in self-pity

Yeah, thats all,
till i skate again, maybe i will find more snake food.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Of frogs and toads

The Pursuit of Anurans

In my steaming hot hostel room which has only enough room for a little mushroom, sat a reptile; a changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor). I had previously caught this new found friend while waiting for the bus after lectures. Where are all the fauna on campus? My fairly urban campus has a widespread of students from all around the globe. But, where is the buffet of animals? Besides at the cafes and canteens?

This sparked many questions in my head. This was how I came about searching for anurans (frogs and toads) on my university campus in hot and humid Singapore. Day in day out, most of us students attend lectures after lectures, tutorials after tutorials. We may be physically present on campus, but we are almost completely shut-off from the biological and ecological aspects of our surroundings. That made me wonder who really cared about the not exactly beautiful frogs and toads living amongst us.

The anurans on campus are those which are less vulnerable to human disturbance. I call them urban toads/frogs. And my cousin jokingly asked whether they wore suits and ties. No, they carry briefcases. Personally I think we are too caught up with ourselves to even notice them. Maybe they do carry briefcases and maybe even umbrellas during the rain.

With the help of my supervisor, who is in the opinion that he has not heard as many anuran calls as he used to in the past, I embarked on a incredible journey. The pursuit of anurans. I went out searching for the anurans around my school. Shining my headtorch, straining hard to locate them. Looking for the frogs, and hoping to hear some of them. Many nights were frogless and croakless. But the sight of the anurans will just bring so much joy, to me at least. These little creatures were the like treasure. Rare and precious will be the words for them.

The three species I encountered were the Bufo melanostictus, Polypedates leucomystax and the Kaloula pulchra. They are considered common species, maybe too common for their own good. Therefore, are of little concern and interest. However, they were getting most of my attention for the three months of the project. And the memories of them will be tagging along with me, throughout my path of life. The lessons learnt, mistakes made, scoldings obtained and critism received were numerous and brain drilling, almost overwhelming.

At this point, I am only able to speculate that the anurans will be an indicator of the environmental condition of our surroundings. They are able to show us a frogview of the place where we live in coexistance. The anurans will be the best folks to approach for environmnal advice, if only we understood their croak choir. Give these toads a chance to change the world, before we change it with their extinction.

As for me, now that the project has came to an end, I definitely miss my frog spotting sesssions. I miss the thrill I get at unexpected finds. Nowadays, I cannot help but to look into any drains or vegetated areas, in case I missed an anuran while walking around school. I may not be the best frogger around, but the frogs are around; only if you give them some of your priceless time. The pursuit of the anurans, taught me to seek because I might find. In addition, the findings will be invaluable. Plus, finders keepers; especially in terms of experinces and exposure.

I toad-ank you.

Friday, March 21, 2008

In the midst of THE report

In the midst of all the amending and flushing whole big chunks of information into the drains, i found this video from Frog Matters. Found it pretty amusing and encouraging.
Here is the video,

Kermit and his frog choir

As for me, back to work, with Kermit humming to me through the nights.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Closing ceremony for(4) frogs

Date :7th March 2008
Time : 9ish to 10ish pm
Weather : cool and windy

After my meeting at < SPACE >, i headed down to the field for my last frogging session. I might wanna do a few more (for leisure) if time permits. I will surely miss the frogs/toads i missed. The weather was cool and nice. Along the way, i looked at the many drains at Science. Many of them were dry. And there was no signs of frogs/toads to be sighted. Sad case.

The first Anuran of the night was a tiny Kaloula pulchra. It was near a dry drain, the drain running along the non-AYE side of the field. Along Lower Kent Ridge Road. The drain was dry and had unswept leaf litters inside it. There, i spotted 3 other Asian toads, Bufo melanostictus. The first toad was a shy brownish one which was rather flat. The second one was this agile one which made this chirp like sound when i caught it. It has strong hind limbs and i watched it for quite awhile. Mostly due to curiosity, partly due to my solo boredom. It has this consistent leap which was 7 leaps max per move. It was hopping all around the field with a Homo sapiens chasing herself silly after it. I am sure we both had fun. And i found it rather special, looking bananaish(yellowish) with fancy legs (who knows it could have been wearing pineapple stockings), which looked as if its limbs and body was of a different individual.

As for my last catch of the night, it was this extra-dark Asian toad, Bufo melanostictus . It was rather small in size and made me felt as if it was a little gloomy. So i didnt really bother it so much.

I continued by walking along School of Computing (SoC) and all the way along. Got back to PGP at around 10.45pm.

alicia-Had my frogging dose, now i need a booster.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Raining cats and dogs

It has been raining for the pass few days. Have been looking out for potential places i might be able to spot more frogs. The weather is cool and splendid. I am so glad for the frogs, at last some moisture for them to call their own.

My tentitive plan is to go for 2 more frogging sessions, tomorrow and on friday night. And hope in this time of preparation for the Anurans to meet me when i go frogging for them, they be merry and show me some spawn maybe? The best will be a family reunion or some old friends get-together.

Looking forward to my frogging sessions, can't hardly wait =)


Monday, March 3, 2008

Umbrellas up, ponchos on..

Date : 3/3/2008

It started drizzling at about 2.30pm. I was delighted but the rain lasted for less than half an hour. But for starters, it was good sign.

Now, at around 4.30pm, the rain started again about 3o minutes ago. Goody woody, i shall check those areas where i haven found any frogs/toads. Everyone, including survey sites deserve 2nd chances/ another chance.

Alicia-Talk about being CAfied.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day

To whom "that are concerned",

i got this email from Amphibian Ark just this morning, just wanna share it, on this 'leaptraordinary' day (29th February).

Thank you for recently joining thousands around the world who are petitioning our governments to take actions to save amphibians. I don’t need to tell you that frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians are facing the most significant mass extinction since the dinosaurs.

I’m Jean-Michel Cousteau, and I am writing to you on behalf of Amphibian Ark, the global nonprofit organization that is coordinating the emergency rescue of the most threatened amphibian species. I am joining Sir David Attenborough, Jeff Corwin, and thousands of zoos, aquaria, and conservation organizations to support Amphibian Ark in rallying our planet to avert this mass extinction.

I write this to you on the eve of Feb. 29, 2008, which is called Leap Day in the United States and, in this special “Year of the Frog,” is being call the International Day of the Frog.

Our collective success will come down to the money that is raised – from companies, and governments, and individuals like you and me. I am heartened at hearing stories of grade school children asking their birthday party guests to make donations to Amphibian Ark in lieu of a gift; and a British Isles couple that asked for donations to Amphibian Ark instead of wedding presents.

This indeed is a cause where small donations can add up to the saving of an endangered species. The physical plan for rescuing the most critically threatened amphibians involves converting trailer-sized containers into breeding centers, and training people to oversee the species’ return to healthy populations. The cost of saving an entire species under this plan is $100,000 – compared to other wildlife rescue, this is an amazingly efficient plan.

You are among the thousands who are the first to “jump in” to the amphibian issue. We are counting on you to multiply this number. Here’s what I am asking you to consider:

· Forward this email to 10 people you respect and will thoughtfully consider joining us on what may be considered, years from now, the greatest wildlife “save” in history. Ask them to visit, learn more about the pending crisis -- and they can sign the petition on that Web site.

· Stay informed of local conservation and education efforts in your area regarding this crisis. Zoos across the world are holding special educational events tomorrow (Feb. 29) and throughout the year.

· Write your government representative to urge him or her to look into this issue, confer with local zoos and conservation departments, and do all that can be done to save this class of animal life.

· Make a donation, large or small, to Amphibian Ark through its Web site ( Or mail a check to the address at the bottom of this email.

Frogs are a crucial part of the ecosystem, and they act as indicators to the environment’s health. These remarkable creatures may hold the key to unlocking diseases such as depression, stroke, seizures, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It is imperative that we preserve these creatures for ourselves and future generations.

Thank you for being a part of the solution. Through an active dialogue we can generate awareness and education about this issue. Visit for donation and sponsorship information.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

P.S. The Amphibian Ark mailing address is:

Amphibian Ark
c/o IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group
12101 Johnny Cake Ridge Road
Apple Valley, MN 55124, USA
(952)997-9800 / fax: (952)997-9803


Thursday, February 28, 2008

My "lame" frog =(

Yesterday morning, on the way back home from breakfast, we saw a wounded frog in the middle of the road. Initially, i didnt see it. My dad pulled over the car and guarded the road while i retrieved the poor little frog from the middle of the road. It was the road leading to my house, in my neighbourhood.

I grabbed a plastic bag from the back seat and grabbed the fellow. It was a wounded banded bullfrog Kaloula pulchra. When i got home, i examined the frog and found out it was quite badly injured. I do not know how. But it was really bad. Here is a picture of it.
With its anterior and posterior view.
It was so badly injured it couldnt even hop. it was limping, therefore suggesting its lameness. Suddenly, i felt so much for it i didnt know what to do. I wish i could do something to make it feel better.

Then, later at night, i decided to nurse it myself. I took some grandmother oilment my mom's colleague got from Penang (which we fondly call Magic Oil) and some cotton buds. I applied it onto the wounds of the frog, making sure it does not affect our friend's other remaining working systems. It was still and oblidging when i was being a frog-doctor wannabe. I then, decided to let it rest at some random pot in the garden to recuperate, making it seem like a anuran ward. I thought it might be better if it was free rather than being cooped up in a white bucket, which i kept it previously.

Hope the frog's doing fine. And Magic is working from that 'amah' oil.
Anterior view

Posterior view

aliciatan,- hopes to churn something 'good' out before the week ends.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Longkang(drain) frogging

Date : 25th February 2008
Time : 8.00pm to 9.30pm
Weather : After a heavy rain
Location : Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia again..

It started raining quite heavily at around 6ish and the rain lasted for about 1 hour. Then, at around 7ish, i got a torch and followed the frog calls. It was so loud i almost fainted of joy. It was so noisy, i felt the warmth of the Anurans.

Then, i went back home to try to drag/force someone along. So, my dad and i went to that area, a drain across my house. There, we saw about 30 frogs. Yeah. There were mainly Kaloula pulchra(Banded bullfrogs), all bloated up and singing. I also saw 2 Bufo melanostictus (Asian toads) and 2 Polypedates leucomystax (4-lined common tree frog). Here are some pics of them. There were so many Kaloula pulchra(Banded bullfrogs), it was overwhelming. And obviously the novelty of Kaloula pulchra(Banded bullfrogs) to me subsided. Remember how i used to think it was "legendary".

And, the focus of the day was this little frog i couldnt catch. It was pretty fast. I din't manage to get hold of it but got a shot of it. Something fresh. This is my first encounter with this species. I have yet to confirm the actual species name.

Yeah, adding on. I heard at least 4 different calls in that vicinity. The most distinct call of the bullfrogs, the Asian toads, the "low nasal quacking" of the 4-lined common tree frog and a "staccato series of clicking sounds" (which i believe is that of the species Rana chalconota.

Sitting here, blogging, i can still hear the calls.
One bloated buddy

4 of them

Spot the anura

One newly wed

A Kaloula pulchra-ful night =)


Rm2.oo for 6 Anurans

--Back home in Msia--H^Io

I was so frog hungry i got up this morning wanting to buy some frogs. My dad and i went to the shop and started shopping for the frogs. There were 2 aquariums, filled with frogs. The smaller ones were RM0.25 while the larger ones were RM0.50 each.
We got 4 small ones and 2 bigger ones. Then, i asked the auntie who sold the frogs to us what the common name of the frog was. She went, oh..qing wa lo, (frog lo)..oh, niu zhong yang da liao ren jia zhai chai kuan ci de (bullfrog, the type people eat, at restaurants).--> thanks auntie, the restaurant part was abit TOO MUCH info, haha..

I was so blur i was trying to figure wat "niu wa" was. The first thing that came to my mind was snail frogs, dunno why.

Had a great time with them, presenting the best looking frog of the crop.
Think it looks like a Randall. Species : Rana catesbeiana

And friends


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nothing = 4 nothing

Today, i was looking through my data and trying to think of a good statistics to use. Then, i was kinda doing a reflection on the things i have done throughout this project. I must say this blog has helped me alot in my self-assessment and has served as a good reminder for quite a forgetful person i am. It helps me keep track on what i have done and more importantly, things i haven't done.

It has been more than half-way through the whole process, a brief yet significant journey i have embarked on, to take up this UROPS of mine. And i believe every step i have taken shall not bring along anything but lessons and priceless experiences.

Last but not least, this has made me learn things the hard way, the hardy way, that frogs/toads should be cherished(because they are scarce) and not chewed.

Here is a video, yet another from YouTube, to end on the "hungry" note. Please be disgusted, be very =O


Friday, February 22, 2008

Urban frogs wear suits?

Date : 22nd February 2008
Time : 8.30pm to 10.30pm
Weather : Fairly wet
Still full moon , O

Caught 5 Bufo melanostictus today. The first was a normal looking one, slightly smaller than regular size while the 2nd one was one great-grand mother toad (like elaine puts it). It was humongous. I tried to provoked it, just to see whether it secretes the yellowish substance from its glands like the PGP R1 toad (the biggie one). It didn't. Just a slight colourless substance.

Then, i caught the remaining three form the same area. I was walking along the path, from MPSH towards the tennis courts. I was expecting to see one or two, but did not spot any. However, in between the stadium and tennis courts, i spotted 3 juvenile Asian toads. The first one was so frail i had to ask it to get a life. The second one was small as well but it was hopping all over, as if it was jumping for joy, seeing me with the camera. And the third one was almost like the second one. Got a nice pic of the 2 active ones.

Fingers of Alicia and Photo's by Audrey


News from HOME=)

Got an email from dad, attaching this link.

This article is from The Star Online ( Here it is :)

Copyright © 1995-2006 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Star Publications is prohibited.

I am so tempted to go and visit the 18 species in Zoo Negara. I am so eager and excited to meet our very own Malaysian Kermit. How?

Ps: My homie(dad's pet) ran away from home. Dad is suspecting its either an elope or a purchase of a new condo.

Alicia-Will be going frogging later at around 8pm.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ask for More

Date : 21st February 2008
Part 1 (1.30pm to 2.30pm)
Was practically walking around school for the whole day. I tried to spot potential areas, with good drainage system and waterlogging condition of the areas. Suddenly the whole uni looked so green to me. I realised, every step you take, there is a possibility. So, i have decided to take more walks around school in times to come. Went around Arts and YIH, to have a better look at the area i surveyed last night. To get a day view.
Plus, i am looking for the raindrops. Havnet seen them around lately. It hasnt been raining for quite sometime already.

Part 2 (9.10pm to 9.40pm)
I missed the bus from Science back to PGP at around 9.10pm. So, i decided to walk. I walked along the NUH side of the road. It was quite well vegetated, with lotsa carpet grass, well-tended ornamental plants and few pretty good areas. In addition, there is a drain which is quite okay. The water flow is moderate and is possible for tadpoles/spawn to survive. But going towards Buona Vista Road junction, the flow got faster and there was even a opening where domestic(hospital) waste was flowned into the drain. It was grossy effecting the drain. However, the area was very well lighted. The lamp-posts plus the zooming of the vehicles along that road.I have yet to check out the opposite side of the road. The area looked like it was good. With shady trees and is a piece of grassy land. Will check it out soon.

Part 3 (10.50pm to 11.20pm)
I went to the spot where i spotted the Polypedates leucomystax @ 4-lined common tree frog yesterday. I saw them fogging at Kent Ridge Hall at around 2.40pm. I was so worried this would effect the frogs there. And i was once again overjoyed when i spotted 2 more Polypedates leucomystax @ 4-lined common tree frog in the same drain. This time, i brought Audrey along, to help me snap some good shots as well as to accompany me, while talking some sense into me along the way. Had a brisk walk, and missed a million buses. Indeed a very frogful night. Thanks, Audrey for sharing my t/joy.

Polypedates leucomystax

alicia '_'

A shock!

Today, during anatomy class, Cheryl and Jolane gave a real suprise, It was the usual 10 minute break, when they told me they saw a dead frog/toad near the library. I was somewhat happy/sad. I asked them for the details and kept my fingers crossed that Mr.Sweeper doesn't sweep it away before i see it. I rushed to the 'crime scene' with my camera but found 2/3 nicely tied up black bags. They told me it was at some road next to the curb. I returned to the LT, sien =(

Then, we decied to check out the place after the lecture ended. It ended up that i had not looked at that particular spot, it was. Lying there motionless. Phew, what a relieve when i saw this. Saw the beak, and went., (sigh of relief)

I think most flattened carcasses look alike. (burung penyet is delicious)

Here's a pic of a flat toad (courtesy of Mom) from a seperate incident


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Solo Frogging

Date : 20th February 2008
Time : 7.45pm to 10.00pm
Weather : Cool and windy
Full moon, O

I went frogging around school alone today. Its not my first time, but i would say it is one experience of its kind. I walked down Prince George's Park, into Research Link. Then, along the way, as i was trying to spot as well as to listen up for calls, i saw this pleasant looking lady at the bus stand. I thought she looked like she was working around the area. So, i initiated a talk. I learnt that she was attached to a private independent child care operator, The Learning Vision Group. I then asked her whether she had heard or seen any frogs/toads around the working place. She replied delightfully that she has heard them during/after rains, in the children's playground at the centre. Goody woody

She later shared with me that she read somewhere which said something about messaging the vocal sac and tummy of the frogs will cause it to be hypnotized. One interesting fact. I looked it up and found several sites. Thanks Miss Vera =)

I later walked all the way towards Heng Mui Keng Terrence area. It was a very cosy area, with lots of vegetaion (ornamental though) and the area was shady with many trees. I walked across Kent Ridge Hall and Sheares Hall. I noticed the earth of the areas were mainly dry. The drainage system ws so-so with no potential areas to spot tadpoles. However, many drains were filled with leaf litter and minimal water. Plus, i found another reptile staring at me, a Calotes versicolor.

Continued to walk along Business Link, and reached the fork junction near KR Hall. Walked along the drains, shining my torchlight. The drain was filled with about 1cm of water. Then, i thought i saw a small frog. I shined again and realised indeed my eyes were not playing tricks on me. ( Some classical music playing in the background like in dramas) Really happy but no one was there to share my joy. (so i shiok sendiried). Walked on the grassy patch and found another one. Oh yeah, the frogs were Polypedates leucomystax@four-lined tree frog, the species i have heard (its call is described as a "low nasal quack") not caught. I was really overjoyed because this is the third species i have found on campus. This species of frog has 4 rather distinct lines on its back. I am so happy i found a tree frog, though i kinda miss Asian toads already. =)

I continued walking all the way, towards Temasek/Eusoff Hall, trying to find frogs/toads all the way towards Arts. There is this drain at Arts, near the bus-stop which might have spawn. I saw some bubble-like jelly which i will confirm when i visit this place in the morning one of these days. I went to the wide empty grass land to frog but found none. I also went over to Architecture Drive, Engineering, and then walked all the way towards YIH. Somewhere around the Visitor's Lodge, i found a badly waterlogged patch. Walked along the side of SRC and then tooked a bus back. Thrilled, but exhausted.

Caught 2 Polypedates leucomystax =)

Just for laUghs

Ps : I emailed the people from Office of Estate and Development to request for a Drainage system map of campus. Really hope they get back to me soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A walk to remember

After Miss Lua, Audrey and i went to do some insects sweeping along the staircase near Temasek Life Science Laboratory, i took a brisk walk down towards Research Link, the area Alex and I went, and heard a Polypedates leucomystax. Took some pictures of the area for record sake.
Here are some of them and some brief description of the area.

Behind Temasek Life Sciences Lab.

A*star IMRE (where i caught the Bufo melanostictus with Alex)

Aint no moutain high?

Ps: I met Mr Kelvin from Raffles Museum when i was at Miss Lua's office. I just double checked with him, the toad( which i thought was a frog) was a toad. And yeah, it is a TOAD. i thought it was some kind of frog. Both the frog-pros(Nigel and Mr.Kelvin) said it was just one malnourished toad. How can a toad in an urban area be malnourished with all the vending machines around?
Here it is.


A lil (big)someTHING

I got this link from my dear ol' sister this morning.

Here it is :)

I think frogs/toads nowadays are also in the slimming trend. Talk about peer pressure.


Monday, February 18, 2008

A Film of Photographs

Snap shots of my Anuran friends.
Fellow PGPian Bufo melanostictus

The Bufo melanostictus i caught somewhere at A*Star

A Bufo melanostictus with yellowish colouration of its vocal sac ( unwiped curry)

The malnourished Bufo melanostictus

A random Bufo melanostictus from the field

A Bufo melanostictus

Another Bufo melanostictus, A sian toad

A Banded bullfrog Kaloula pulchra

The brown-coat Bufo melanostictus at a private pool

A Bufo melanostictus

More Asian toads, Bufo melanostictus

And Kaloula pulchra X2

A true urban frog, Rana puralah


Kent Ridge Park/t II

Date : 18th Febuary 2008
Time : 7.30pm to 8.30 pm
Weather : Cooling
-Amelia, Nigel and i

We took 200 to Kent Ridge Park at around 7ish. The real killer was the sloppy walk up. We went to the similar spot we went the last time. It was right next to the pond, the smaller pond in the park. There, we heard the call of the Rana erythraea. It was this soft sounding chirpy croak. We searched for it/them in that vicinity. Then, Nigel spotted one. He asked me to give it a fast catch, but i guess i have grew too accustomed to the urban frogs/toads, their relatively slow motions. I missed again.

Then, in the midst of searching for the Rana erythraea, i saw this tiny frog. I grabbed the whole chunk of whatever( leaves, grass, soil) around that little frog. It was a Fejervarya limnocharis. It was a little froglet which had just metamorphosed form a tadpole. It had darkish black ridges on its back. Yeah, kinda exciting. Indeed a suprise catch, and maybe a happiness neutralizer and a good consolation for missing the Rana erythraea.I am really pathetic. I WILL catch a Rana erythraea ONE DAY.

Later on, we went to the edge of the pond. Nigel spotted more Fejervarya limnocharis. 3 of them. Amelia had her chance to handle a small frog. A juvenile Fejervarya limnocharis. I think she had fun. I mean i hope she did. Then, towards a narrower path, with lotsa plants growing along the way, i saw some movement. And i later saw a red eye shine. It was another Rana erythraea. We didnt manage to get our friend because we were intruding to the comfort zone of the frog. If only i had 5 feet long arms. And, i missed yet another Rana erythraea.

Then, as i was still trying to get a Rana erythraea, i saw some hopping amongst the leaf litter. It was as if it was some little frog playing on the pogo stick. It was another Fejervarya limnocharis.In total, we spotted 5 newly metamorphosed Fejervarya limnocharisand saw 2 Rana erythraea. We then decided to call it a day as it was not very saturated with frog calls, as compared to the last session. Plus, the weather was rather dry, not entirely but substantially. We then rolled down the hill into another 200 back to school.

Lessons i learnt today
1) Make sure all torches are functioning well.
2) Practice catching frogs before attempting to catch another Rana erythraea
3) Remembered the call of a Rana erythraea.
4) Look out for tiny frogs, those that might not win a grasshopper in a arm wrestle.

Thanks Encik Nigel and Cik Amelia =)


For the record... did i mention SRC rox?

Date :17th February 2008
Time :10.00pm to 10.45pm
Weather : Windy, cool
Audrey and i

When the athletes go home, the frogs come out to play. Thats exactly true for the Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC ) field in sChOOL. As planned, i went to SRC at about 10pm. I was so happy when i saw the lights off. I went towards the staircase and just randomly shone my torch on the grassy area. I was not expecting much, so i was just doing it out of routine.

Somewhere halfway through the stairs, i saw a stoner toad. An Asian toad [Bufo melanostictus]. It was of regular size. I took out my camera and took a picture, erm, maybe quite a few pictures of it. Then, i continued walking on the grassy patch parallel to the stairway. I saw another Asian toad (stoner) [Bufo melanostictus]. It didnt even looked like it cared i was staring at it. I should have drooled, to scare it. I took a picture of it and left it by its own.

I went towards the drain, at the end of the staircase. There, i spotted this tiny Asian toad [Bufo melanostictus]. It was soft and obliging. I brought it to the grasland and took a photograph of it. Released the XS fellow and proceeded to look for its kins. Then, almost directly below the staircase, inside the drain, which was filled about 1 to 2 cm high, was this slighly darker Asian toad. It was either wearing a dark brown coat or it was going tanning too much. And somewhere around there, i found another kiddo Asian toad [Bufo melanostictus].

Then, Audrey popped out of no where. And so did this beloved brownish sticky frog. It was a Banded bullfrog [Kaloula pulchra]. I was so happy i almost kissed it. No, i did not because i grew up reading fairy tales. Ok, same procedure, since my camera pro friend came. She was chasing the frog at a moderate distance to get a good shot of that frog.

Audrey and i then continued by walking the path towards the bus stand. Then, near the goal post, we saw a Asian toad-goalie [Bufo melanostictus].It was rather big and it had its fair share of Audrey's scream. We got a few shots on the camera of this goalie wannabe.

After that, we followed the path towards MPSH. There was thick grass on the right and a wonderful (dry) drain on the left. I must say the drain should be the talk of the day. Found another XS Asian toad[Bufo melanostictus] in the midst of the grass. In that (in my opinion) normal looking drain, i found a frog and 3 toads. In total, i found 2 different species in that drain. It was really a great feeling. Finding so many frogs/toads tonight. Coolest frogging session ever. (will publish the pics once i upload them)

Terima kasih Audrey =)

2 words = FROG FEAST

On the run

Date :17th February 2008
Time :8.30 pm to 9ish 10 pm
Weather : Cool
-Alex and I

I was just telling Audrey how i felt like a CID.As i was working on my report just now, at about 8pm, Alex called. I was rather suprised. The phone call went something like this :
Alex : Hey, alicia. Where are you?
me : I am in my room? PGP.
Alex : i heard a frog call.
me : (rather blur) huh? where.
Alex : Near Temasek Life Science centre.

i was so kan jiong i couldnt really remember how the other half of the conversation went.

I gathered my armour for battle (torches, camera and data sheet) and rushed downstairs.Ran and ran, pant and pant. Finally reached S2 area. Then kinda so blur i got lost, Dunno where was i walking. Then out of a sudden Alex appeared.

We then went to that area he heard the sound. Sure enough, we heard the call again. The area is a pretty good area. The vegetation was moderate, with lotsa potted plants, and it was at the edge of a forest. The drains were quite good, looked like it had potential. We tried looking for the frog which called but couldnt spot it. It is this brief, low sounding call which i can remember but cannot identify. (According to the consultation by my mentor, Nigel-the deduction made is that its is the call of a Polypedates leucomystax, the common tree frog @ Four-lined tree frog)

We then went along the ridge, towards Central. Then, at around Research Link, we heard the identical call again. Again, we tried to spot the frog but in vain. A gecko even tried to make us happy by giving us a false alarm. Guess that fellow was too long to look like a frog.But the area was really good and will definitely go there for another frogging session.

After that, we walked towards A*star. Alex, a plantae-and-Geography-pro explained that that the valley-like characteristic of that area made it very waterlogged. Sure enough, there was this badly waterlogged area. There and behold, we found our first Asian toad [Bufo melanostictus] of the night.

We walked towards University Hall, intersecting Ridge View Residence and Central Forum. It was indeed a pleasant night. Thanks Alex.

Tonight- heard 2 frogs + caught a toad

Found a potential area=)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

HOT to SPOT the FROGS? (hotspot of the frogs?)

Question : Where are the frogs in NUS?

I will be doing a really intense frogging session for the whole week. It shall be my frogging marathon.

Sunday -10pm onwards - Sports and Recreation Centre, field, School of Computing area

Monday - 7ish pm onwards - Kent Ridge Park [* Frogging seminar by Mr. Nigel Ng]

Tuesday - 7ish pm onwards - Univeristy Cultural Centre, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Engineering, School of Design and Environment

Wednesday - 7ish onwards - Yusof Ishak House, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University Hall, Ridge View Residence

Thursday - about 9ish /10pm onwards - Sports and Recreation Centre field, SoC, Science, National University Hospital

Friday and Saturday - To be confirmed

Hope things go well, if not, i will just go search for frogs in the well.Very well,,


Friday, February 15, 2008

DRAINed...but gained

Date :14th Febuary 2008
Time :7.30pm to 9.00pm
Weather : Cool
Mr Siva and i

Yesterday, Mr Siva and I went to check out the drainage system at the border of NUS, along the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). We walked along the drains all the way towards the end of it. We then walked inside a parallel(sub) drain which was dry. It was about 6ish feet high. We found an Asian toad [Bufo melanostictus] in the junction between the 2 drains. It became panicky when it saw us coming, trying frantically to escape, but in vain. Snap pics then let our friend go.

We then continued our journey all the way in that dry drain, semi to frog-hunt semi to recce the place. We realised the drains(both the sub and main drains) were rather deep and i was wondering whether this may affect the anurans' choice of inhibiting the place.Plus the area was noisy with the bustles of the city along the AYE. We found 2 Asian toads [Bufo melanostictus] that night.

After the previous session from PGP to Temasek/Eusoff Hall, i am in the opinion that urban toads/frogs may not inhibit areas with thick grass. However, i have yet to bring a toad to test out this hypothesis. Shall do it one of this days. I hope the frogs/toads are not reading this because i am sure none of them wanna be my experimental specimen.

And who said its boring hunting for frogs/toads in an urban area like NUS?
Frog sandwich?

90-degrees-inverted Mud pie?

Romeo and Juliet? Sea almond delight?


12 ekor after discount

This is the checklist of frogs, mainly toads i have spotted so far from the National University of Singapore Kent Ridge campus vicinity. All of them are unique individuals which will make up my data. I have caught 11 Asian toads[Bufo melanostictus] and a Banded bullfrog [ Kaloula pulchra] minus the 2 [Microphyla heymonsi + Rana erythraea] from Kent Ridge Park.
These are some of their captured memories of these Anuras,

Let them be in your hearts and not in anyone's intestines.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

IT made my day

As i was writing the previous post, i was just stoning in front of my comp, thinking frogful thoughts. Then, i got a call from Tiffany. She sounded like she was in trouble or somthing. She went ," Eh, Alicia..Can you come over to R1 right now?" Then, i was like. Yeah,okay....(long pause) why? She more calm and went....
Drumrolls : There's a BIG TOAD HERE.
I said : ok.Going over now.
She said :ok..hurry..RUN

Being my obedient self, i ran. From R3 to R1.Not to mention i waited for the lift for half a forever plus my running which took another half.

When i got there(panting), i saw this BIGGIE. It was this fatso toad lurking near a drain.

It is such a fat Bufo melanostictus (Asian toad), that it actually forced itself against my fingers when i was holding it. It was really fun. Plus, it secreted a yellowish sustance which was quite alot compared to the others i caught, due to its large size. It was almost as big as my palm.
Here's pic of it..

Notice the yellow substance

-Thanks Tiff =)

Aliciatan (Pest of the Pest)

Still Waiting

Date : 10 Febuary 2008
Weather : Cloudy
Time : 7.30pm to 8.00pm
Location : Batu Pahat, Johor Malaysia
Dad and i

The frog (toad) prince in my garden back home sure has a better story to tell than i do now. On Sunday night, i went out to check on the toad. It was still nicely nestled in THE flower pot. I didnt want to miss it leaving the pot this time, because i did yesterday. So, my dad and i waited patiently by the pot for the toad to leave. The sky grew darker and darker. And there were slight movements from the toad. We waited and waited, as if we were waiting for the cow to come home.

Then, as we were kinda running late, and that fella seemed to have noticed us in the first place(making it a little uncomfortable and intimidated), we decided to carry out Plan B. I guarded the toad while my dad went to get some talcum powder. We sprinkled the whole area around the pot with powder and went indoors to give the toad some private moments before taking flight. When we came out, the toad had left the pot and left slight frog paw marks. And i found it under the fence. It then leaped inside the drain, where my dad spotted a smaller unrelated one. (They must be meeting for a pre-valentine date) We then took a pic of the both of them.

Presenting the drain and the 2 toads, Bufo melanostictus

To spot the toads, strain hard. Both the toads are directly in front of the slippers. The smaller on on the left while the bigger one on the right.

Ps:Definitely miss my homies.

Will be meeting Mr. Siva for a frogging session tmr after Biochem tuts.

Aliciatan :::Beg(Back) In Singapore for Frogs:::

Friday, February 8, 2008

New homie?

Came back home for the CNY yesterday. I was quite excited because of this new buddy i will meet when i touch down. Sure enough, when we reached home at about 6ish, my dad introduced me to his "ecological friend". Here is a picture of our dear fellow. Proudly presenting 'it" and "its home-cum-our porch"

The Toad

Its Home

This Bufo melanostictus(Asian toad), has been living in my family garden for about as long as i was in this project. Not to mention it has not brought up the matter of rent. Anyway, i found out that it will be home by morning and leaves its lil 'nest' shortly after the sun sets. It was sleeping soundly when i saw it this morning. Will definitely check on it later.

Alicia- Happy year of the Frog