American Toad Tadpoles

 

May was a wet month with rain every couple of days.  My pig wallows filled with water.  One wallow that had yet to see pigs this spring was used as breeding grounds for the opportunistic American Toad.

The frog species on our farms almost exclusively use my parents’ pond for breeding since it was built in 1992.  Toads are not as picky and will breed in any standing water, sometimes to the detriment of the resulting tadpoles as often these water holes will dry up if the rains stop.  And that is what happened here as the first two weeks of June saw warm temperatures and no rain.

I was looking forward to thousands of baby toads in my yard, so I intervened with a garden hose, adding water every day or so until we got two inches of rain a few days ago.  Now I’m starting to find the little toads hopping around.

The tadpoles almost seem to shrink as they develop legs.  Its as if the fat tadpole body repositions itself into the skinny legs as the tail shrinks.  I love the American Toad.

2 Responses to American Toad Tadpoles

  1. What a kind good man you are!!! Glad you used yr hose instead of doing nothing like most do !! KUDOS!!

  2. Thanks, Lindy. Sometimes I wonder if doing the kind thing is the right thing, as I’m messing with nature. But I guess I’m part of nature as well. It’s just that humans have such an enormous impact.
    I went to a talk this winter by a person who raises hundreds of monarch caterpillars indoors in aquariums, hand-feeding them milkweed until they turn into butterflies. I understand why she is doing this, but I wonder if she is inadvertently selecting for less hardy monarchs?

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