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Disappearing tadpoles

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  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,684
    I believe that they do NickG61, we were given a dozen or so tads last year, popped them in our large pond and slowly they disappeared.  We are quite sure that they were eaten either by the newts or dragonfly lava that we have in the pond.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,197
    We have loads of newts and they never touch the toads. Frog tadpoles are gone in a flash.
    I've never had a mass die-off like that. How horrid. Was there sudden cold or heat? If the water gets very warm the oxygen levels fall. Perhaps something like that  happened?
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Saw our first baby froglet crawling around the edge of the pond today. About half an inch long.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,631
    Newts will certainly eat frog spawn ( presumably toad spawn too ? ) but how big a Tad of either has to be before too big for a Newt to tackle I have no idea.  As GD says dragon fly larvae are also voracious predators.
    Unless you have definite evidence of a mass die off ( i.e. dead tads floating about with no sign of predation ), I would think they have simply gone about their normal business and gone deeper into your pond.
    If you do have lots of dead tads, contact your local Wildlife Society as they can often confirm disease or otherwise.
  • None of the explanations above fit our scenario so I'll post in case someone else has a clue.

    We had over three hundred tadpoles in our pond. One tench a few newts, some dragonflies and water boatmen, but they didn't seem to bother the tadpoles. The tadpoles were always very easy to locate and we'd see them every day. They were just developing little legs, still had big tales and then three days ago they all disappeared, all at once, no sign of them whatsoever, not one, not even a dead one.

    We are completely flummoxed. Nothing could have eaten over three hundred tadpoles all at once. Any suggestions, however mad, very appreciated.

    Thanks.



  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,283
    Newts will certainly eat frog spawn ( presumably toad spawn too ? ) but how big a Tad of either has to be before too big for a Newt to tackle I have no idea.  As GD says dragon fly larvae are also voracious predators.
    Unless you have definite evidence of a mass die off ( i.e. dead tads floating about with no sign of predation ), I would think they have simply gone about their normal business and gone deeper into your pond.
    If you do have lots of dead tads, contact your local Wildlife Society as they can often confirm disease or otherwise.
    Newts will eat frog spawn and the tadpoles right up to when they become froglets. I observed a male smooth newt with a froglet leg hanging out of its mouth a couple of years ago for the first time. Never seen a newt or fish take a toad tadpole, but dragon fly and great diving beetle larvae certainly take them from observation.

    It's a harsh world being a frog tadpole. The bigger ones apparently excrete a bacteria that slows the growth of the smaller ones. The big ones then turn carnivorous and their smaller brothers and sisters become tasty meals.
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