The village pond in our community nature area is not that brilliant. To be honest it is a bit beleaguered. There can be vandalism and the water levels can sometimes decrease dramatically. Having said that, right now, it isn’t doing too bad. There is plenty of water and it is clear that a lot of new patches have mended the leaking liner. Aquatic plants are spreading and lots of life is visible – from skimming water boatmen and snails of various sorts to the odd fish.  Right now, what really catches the eye are the myriads of black tadpoles. Not from frog spawn – that was much earlier – but from toads; so I suppose we could call these youngsters toadpoles. There are thousands of them. Maybe hundreds of thousands. They swim in phalanxes through deeper water but mostly throng in the shallow warmer water around the margins where they scrape the biofilm on the pond liner together with the wandering and great pond snails and a few red ramshorns. The toadpoles wriggle new the surface around the yellow ranunculus,  the purple water mint, and through the tangled star wort leaves. I have never seen so many.

10 Replies to “Toadpoles”

  1. More on all “tadpoles”: Amphibian babies. Represented by frogs and toads (order Anura), newts and salamanders (order Caudata), and caecilians (order Gymnophiona).


  2. Thank you, Dick. I personally have no involvement with the project but appreciate the efforts of those who struggle to maintain and improve the pond. Local herons have a great time fishing in it and depleting stock.


  3. We call them tadpoles here in the UK too, Karen. I just invented the word “toadpoles” to distinguish them from frog tadpoles. We saw the common toads (Bufo bufo) mating and laying their long strings of eggs some time ago. Toad tadpoles are uniformly dark or black coloured compared with frog tadpoles that are lighter and more variegated – but not a lot of people know how to tell the difference.

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  4. I guess there are so many because so few make it to adulthood. My parents have a small pond and there are currently (after winter killed off 50% of the occupants) 3 frogs and 3 newts. Every year there is a mass of frogspawn so I reckon that only tiny percentage make it to adulthood.


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