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Sunday, 5 April 2020

First Tadpoles

These frog tadpoles in my garden pond hatched en masse overnight. I found them catching this morning's sun, wriggling a little but otherwise mainly staying put on top of the spawn mass.

There has only been one clump of spawn in the pond this year, laid on the 9th of March or possibly one or two days earlier. That makes 26-28 days gestation. How does this compare with other members' observations?

Feathery gills. Don't appear to have eyes or a mouth yet

Springtails were jumping all over the dead leaves and on the surface tension of the pond, sometimes jumping on the backs of the taddies. They are not harmful to them, mainly feeding on rotting vegetation and detritus. In fact the tadpoles will soon learn how to eat them!

A springtail, a big one at about 1 mm long
They have a tensioned spatula-shaped appendage under the abdomen with which they flick themselves away from danger.


  1. The surface of my tiny pond is almost full of frogspawn! Trouble is it's also covered with duckweed, a pest I have tried to keep up with, but it defeats me! I'll go and see if there are any tadpoles. Now, was I diligent enough to have noted when my first spawn appeared . . .

  2. Mine are at the same stage, but as soon as they get more mobile most are consumed by newts.

  3. No I didn't note the first date in my pond, probably because it was well behind the first seen - that was on 16th FEB!
    It was reported by Nigel G, one of our members, whose house and pond is on a warm south facing slope.

    My tadpoles are a bit behind yours, Julian and Chris, many embryos still only like black "commas".