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Disappearing tadpoles

A couple of weeks ago we had dozens of newly hatched tadpoles clinging to the side of the pond in shallow water (I netted the area to protect from birds). They seemed happy in this particular part of the pond for a few days. Suddenly they disappeared & there is now no sign of them anywhere. Has anyone else experienced this? Could they just have dispersed & gone to deeper parts?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,166
    I might well be wrong, but I think newts eat tadpoles
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,779
    I think that they are cannibalistic once they reach a certain stage of maturity.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FlinsterFlinster Posts: 852
    I think they e probably dispersed, mine have done the same, but if I stare for a while I see the odd one. Once they’ve grown you might see them. Newtsdo eat tadpoles and so do water boatmen, dragon fly larva, diving beetle larva etc.. but it all in the cycle of life.. a few will survive, but most will get eaten by one thing or another!
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,166
    I think I read , true or not, I don't know, that newts eat tadpole, then they lay eggs which are later eaten by the little froglets so there's a bit of payback.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,631
    IME,the newly hatched tads cling to the side of the pond to feed on the algae which is often growing there ( particularly a shallow pond ).  They then tend to go deeper in search of food after a few weeks.
    As above, the other wildlife in the pond will take advantage of a ready food supply - even the tads eat their relations without a thought.  It is usually the way with any animal which produces massive amounts of young - provided just a few survive, that's the way of life.  The spawn is often decimated as well - particularly of you have newts.
  • We have been told newts and dragonfly lava can eat the tadpoles - not sure if this is true although we have both in our ponds and no tadpoles.  We are being given some tadpoles tomorrow which I intend to raise in an old bowl away from the pond with the idea that when they mature into frogs and are big enough they may be able to fend for themselves.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,197
    Although many of your tadpoles could have been eaten, there may be some left. The tiny ones cling to the sides of the pond, as you say, but then they do go deeper down as they become stronger and more able to swim about. They just disappear. But in my experience, a few weeks later, you start to see them again under leaves and floating plant material. So don't give up, all may not be lost.
  • They have migrated to my pond, that's what. I have been checking carefully for weeks, looking in vain for frog spawn this year, and now suddenly I have tadpoles!
  • NickG61NickG61 Posts: 20
    Can anyone tell me if newts eat toad tadpoles?
  • parkgatemanparkgateman Posts: 12
    I also had hundreds of tadpoles until about 2 weeks ago. Then without reason they started dying. over a few days the top surface was covered with loads and loads of dead tadpoles , some on their sides and mostly turning a grey colour. I have never seen anything like this happen before. I wondered whether something in the water had caused it. There are still tadpoles in the pond , but they seem to frequent below the surface , occasionally coming up for air then diving again. All the dead tadpoles have now sunk. 
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