Toads

Saturday, April 19th 2014

Frogs arrived first, spawned and left the ponds.  The spawn remained, at the edges of the ponds and in the middle, so we are back to our wet dry summer!  It seemed a long time before we noticed any changes to the spawn, but slowly the clear jelly became a black mass of tiny tadpoles.  Now they have disappeared.  On hatching the tadpoles feed from the jelly and then fall to the bottom of the pond and hide in amongst the vegetation until they are strong enough to swim around. Initially they feed on plant material but then turn carnivorous.  If the warm weather continues then we should soon be looking for tadpoles swimming around.

The toads arrived just as the frogs were leaving.  As with the frogs we have many colour variations.  Glennis photographed these different ones, one lighter, one darker, but both with the characteristic coppery coloured eye.  

Darker coloured toad

Lighter coloured toad

The toads laid their spawn in long strings threaded through last year's vegetation.  There is no set time for spawn to hatch as it does depend on the temperature. (The frogspawn in the Field Centre hatched in a very short time due to the warmth.)  A walk around in the sunshine yesterday saw the toad spawn in varying stages of development.

In this photograph you can see that the black dots, the eggs, have now turned into comma shapes, within the jelly.

The 'comma' stage

These toadpoles have hatched and are collecting together to feed from the jelly and algae that has collected on it.

Toadpoles just hatched

It will not be too long before they start to move around the pond.  Unfortunately at this age they are at the bottom of the food chain and many other predators will feed on them.

If you look carefully towards the top left of this phtograph you can see a pond skater obviously waiting for its prey!

Pond skater waiting for its prey

The adult toads have now left the ponds and like the frogs, will be all around the reserve, restoring their fat levels after hibernation and breeding.  Come midsummer we will find tiny frogs and toads leaving the ponds.


(0) Comments:

There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below:


Leave a Comment:







Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

The following question is designed to make sure you are a real person and helps us cut down on spam.
Your comments will appear here once an administrator has reviewed them.

How many hours in one day? (2 character(s) required)


Back to Top

Recent Blog Posts:

Excited!

Posted 16th December 2017

No, not excitement that Christmas is coming, but that we might catch some moths in the moth trap on Tuesday night!  The forecast is saying…

Read More

Tidying up and taking stock

Posted 15th December 2017

Another cold start, but this time after a series of short showers that turned to ice, so the first job was to put grit out…

Read More

Foxglove Christmas Party

Posted 14th December 2017

Members of Foxglove Covert's Management Team, Reserve Managers past and present, volunteers and guests entered into the festive spirit at the annual Christmas Party held…

Read More

Christmas come early

Posted 13th December 2017

Yesterday a small party of Foxglove personnel (Tony, Ian, Whin and Rona) made the long trip down to Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve in Norfolk to…

Read More
 
 
 

Sitemap | Accessibility Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions |