First Frog Spawn Of The Year

Background

The year for cleaning out fish ponds doesn’t normally start until around March time, mainly due to temperatures. Though if no fish this isn’t really a problem though as long as not to cold for me to work out in, as don’t like to be freezing 😨.

One of the first ponds done this year is a pond around 12ft x 5ft and 2.5ft feet deep, originally was a fish pond now ornamental and for nature. Originally was going to do it a few weeks ago early in early February, but because of the two major storms we had Clara and Dennis, Temperatures were too cold. I went out exactly one week before doing the job but unfortunately this pond and the other in the garden were frozen over with at least 1cm ice.

The job was started on 19th February , Once I started to pump the water out into my Vat, I noticed a bit of frog spawn then more and more. So grabbed a buckets put some water in and put the frogspawn into 2 Buckets as there was loads. In all there was over 40 frogs in the pond with some males still attached to the females, so soon will be more frogspawn. The pond was cleaned but still enough for the frogs, newts, frogspawn and all other wildlife to flourish.

So though would just write a quick article about frogspawn etc, as I do get asked a few of these questions often.

When Do Frogs Normally Spawn

Frogs normally spawn around March time, though can be as early as January this does depend on the weather and where you live in the country. The South West is normally the place you see it first.

Now this is what surprised me seeing the frog spawn, as we are in the Midlands but the main thing is the temperatures as for the last few weeks the temperatures haven’t really hit 10c most days been around 7c. And the week before going out it was iced up and that week the temps were around 5c each day. This does show how the seasons are changing. As the frogs are unsure what to do, as if we have a major frost within the next few weeks which seems likely could kill most of them off.

What Does Frog Spawn Look Like

Frog Spawn is laid in clumps, with all the individual spawn in one large mass. Toad spawn is different and this laid in a long pearl like chain. If you do spot any within your pond it is recommended to leave it alone (see section below). Most of the time the frogs lay the spawn in a more protected area of your pond around plants etc.

How Do Frogs Breed

The age frogs breed is from two to three years old. Male frogs attract females by cracking loudly, so if you can here the frogs in your back garden you know soon you will have frogspawn. Once the male as attracted a female it attaches itself to the back of the female, He will stay on her back until she lays her eggs.

Fertilisation happens outside of the body so as soon as the female starts laying her eggs they are fertilised by the males sperm. Females with often lay upto one thousand eggs, as survival rate for tadpoles into adulthood is low. Normally they lay there eggs in shallow parts of your pond, as the eggs continue to grow they will start to float to the top.

How Long Before Frogspawn Hatches

Normally after the frogs have laid the spawn it takes around three weeks for the tadpoles to hatch out of there eggs. Once hatched the tadopoles are just over 1cm in length.

They will mainly stay around the plants where the spawn was laid as they will feed of the algae, debris etc.

Differences Between Frogs and Toads

Frogs and toads can look the same though they have several differences, The main way to tell is their skin. Frogs have smooth thin skin that is moist and have long legs., Their legs when stretched out are longer than its body. Toads have more of a warty rough textured skin with golden eyes, and are more rounded in size.

Frogs will hop, though toads prefer to crawl. Toads if threatened can puff themselves up to make them appear bigger. Toads prefer a more dried habitat than frogs so they are more under roads and damp places around your pond where as frogs will spend more time in the water.

Side Notes

Taking frog spawn from the wild it technically illegal as frogs are a protected species. Though if you have a friend, neighbour or see any you can ask to take it away so you can put in your pond. As not all ponds have frogs or toads and giving new wildlife to your pond helps out all of nature. Though there are some people that don’t want frogs in there pond, again if you see some and don’t want more frogs do the reverse and ask someone else with a pond if they want it.

Do remember that larger fish can eat tadpoles. If you have a pond and are worried about the tadpoles take them out with some plant material and put them into a bucket though ONLY with water taken out of the pond and place in a sheltered location, until they are large enough to go back into the pond. Or better still when you notice the frog spawn take a clump out again into a bucket with some plant material, so when they hatch they will be safe.

If you want tips on creating and looking after a nature pond follow us and will be writing an article soon, while waiting why not look at other tips HERE


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