Office Pond Frog Spawn Shows signs of Life

On Saturday 14th of March we reported that once again we had frog spawn in our office pond.  This is the second year in a row that frogs have spawned in our pond.  Based on our estimates we think that just like last year, the eggs we have in the pond have come from just the one female.  We are not sure whether it is the same female as last year, but it might be as we believe that the Common Frog (Rana temporaria) tends to return to the same pond each year to spawn.

To read the article about the frog spawn: We have frog spawn in the office pond

We have kept a close watch on the frog spawn, and over the last few days or so we have observed that it is beginning to hatch.  The first tadpoles began to hatch on Wednesday 1st April, approximately 17 days after the spawn was laid.  The spawn last year began to hatch a little earlier but it was laid in a shallower part of the pond in direct sunlight and this may account for the slightly slower hatching this year.  We expect to see the majority of the tadpoles hatching over the weekend, although we note that the spawn is not as clear and healthy looking as it was last year.  Perhaps it is because the spawn has ended up in a deeper part of the pond, sitting on the silty bottom.  Those tadpoles that have hatched already, have a distinctive head end, but their tails are not able to propel them very far at the moment.

In the autumn, we all got together and had a lovely afternoon clearing out the blanket weed and generally cleaning the pond.  This has left the pond with little weed cover.  Hopefully, the tadpoles will be able to find plenty of cover to help them avoid predators.  The absence of cover may permit us to observe the tadpoles in more detail this year.

To view the article about 2008 hatching frog spawn: Frog spawn beginning to hatch (2008)

The pond seems quite healthy, we have noticed a lot of snails eggs and the water boatmen have been very active.  We also observed our first pond skater of the season.  Hopefully, our pond clearing has helped maintain a healthy, balanced ecosystem.

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