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Sunday, 19 April 2020

Tadpoles at two weeks old

The third post showing the progress of the frog tadpoles, which all hatched from a single clump of spawn, in my small garden pond. 

Two weeks old today. They are now very vigorous swimmers,
exploring every area of the pond and wriggling from one place to another, reminding me that the seventeenth-century naturalist Thomas Browne called them 'porwiggles'. Norfolk dialect, I think.

Their eyes are much more developed and their external gills have disappeared.
They have golden speckles.

A view of this one's underside as it breaches the surface for a gulp of air. The black spot is its open mouth. The intestine is visible beneath the skin.

An iridescent aquatic beetle among the dead leaves on the surface. One of the so-called water scavenger beetles. Perhaps Helophorus griseus.

Springtails on a floating oak leaf. 

A gathering of hundreds of daphnia, tiny crustaceans, in a more open and sunlit area of the pond. The tadpoles seem to show no interest and swim straight through them.

Close up you can see their one eye and the limbs with which they filter feed and flick themselves around.

Until next week...


  1. The tadpoles look like capers. Not sure I'd want one in my pasta Putanesca though! Can't wait to see the froglets.
    The picture of the springtails is fabulous. I think you could have had a career in wildlife photography:-)

  2. Could have had? Thanks but less of the past tense, if you please! The springtails looked a bit like a tiny herd of wildebeest. Suppose they are the undergrowth's equivalent...

  3. Replies
    1. Just wait till they are froglets - very cute.

  4. Fabulous pictures as usual Julian.
    You probably haven't any newts. They would soon snap up the Daphnia.