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So I went out to the pond yesterday morning, doing my usual wander-around-the-garden morning circuit, and looked down into the pond, and there they were….tadpoles!

I did the dance of tadpoles, which involved tearing into the house and grabbing Kevin and demanding he come look RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

They’re really really tiny–-no longer than the mosquito larvae that are also cropping up, and which will hopefully soon be vanishing down myriad tiny throats. Black, broad-headed, and wiggly, the tadpoles look like goblin sperm. (Insomuch as I ever pictured goblin sperm looking, which I have to admit, I had not contemplated before today.)

They’re coming from eggs which are laid all over the pond, in clusters along the rims of the pots containing the plants, around the bases of the plants themselves, and in globs wherever the horsetails dip to touch the surface. The eggs are rather larger than the tadpoles, which makes sense, and if not hundreds, there are certainly dozens. The dense stand of tiny horsetail is absolutely crammed with them.

They’re small enough that I could see them being cricket frog larvae—they’d have to grow a hundred times their current size to belong to the pickerel frog that has taken up residence in the pond (and for all I know is cannibalizing some of these little fellows.) But I know that tadpoles can certainly grow a great deal, so it’s not impossible, and the mass of eggs laid in the pond put together would make two or three whole cricket frogs, so I honestly don’t know WHAT they’ll turn into!

Mind you, they’re also so small right now that the predacious diving beetle could eat them like candy, so I hope a significant number survive to adulthood.

I’m very excited!

(Also, an article of mine on Baptisia runs over at Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens, which I was in no way, shape or form paid to write by weevils. Nuh-uh. Not at all.)

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.

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congrats! You're grand-momma to a buncha little commas!

, ' '

; , '

' ' , * <-football huddle

Hee! ^-^ Cute...

And WOOT! Congrats to Ursula!

Congrats!! *performs happy dance*

Creating a micro-ecosystem of my very own would make me excited too. And when they get bigger, you can run a taxonomic key on them! Even more exciting!

Eee, tadpoles! Tadpoles and frogs are so much fun.

Darn you, now you have me thinking of goblin sperm! (If that's the size of the sperm, then...???!!!??)

Curiously. size of sperm seems not to correlate with anything in particular. There is a flea (if I recall correctly - ask Dr Tatiana) whose sperm is, if unfolded, several times longer than its body. One really wonders why.

That would be a fruit fly, actually.. and yes, it's kinda freaky to think about.

I <3 Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice for All Creation! I read that for a class, actually :D

That's pure awesome, especially given the global decline in frog populations. I live near a protected habitat for California red-legged frogs, so I totally get the awesomeness of tadpoles.


*does dance of joy*

Goblin Sperm LOL yes I totally get it :)

Just in case you didn't know, and forgive me if I'm saying something you already DO know, those little tadpoles will, as they grow and consume the foodstuff in the pond, eat the smaller tadpoles until the biggest and bestest ones are left. You might find you need to put some wormy stuff in the pond once the tadpoles are big (bodies around the size of an old English penny).

Yayayayayay, Tadpoles! ♥

Sometime I need to trek into the woods that are behind my backyard in search of the puddles that draw the tree frog song that i frequently hear on warm evenings so I can see tadpoles too. Just the other day I found another one of these fellas *points to icon* so there should some about!

Ooh, makes me miss when I lived by a swamp and would occasionally (read: often) go looking for tadpoles! The tadpoles that we have that grow into bullfrogs and leopard frogs are actually really large, though; many times larger than the toad tadpoles, which sound like they in turn are bigger than what you have (although in that case it may just be when I saw them in their life cycle).

Excellent! Wee little froggettes! ^__^ One of my earliest memories is my brother teaching me to catch bullfrog tadpoles (which get freakin' huge, btw) under the bridge near my grandmama's. I hope your little guys all grow up to become handsome frogs and beget more eggs.

Frogess, we like frogess, yes we does!

Tiny tadpoles might be the offspring of the Common American Toad. Those are usually the first ones we see in our pond in the summer, followed by the bigger Leopard Frog and the massive Bull Frog tadpoles later on. Just wait until your yard is filled with the tiniest little toadlets in August.

"Insomuch as I ever pictured goblin sperm looking, which I have to admit, I had not contemplated before today."

Oddly enough, I find myself questioning the veracity of this statement...

I do not question the veracity of the statement, but months hence, we will hear the tale of a round of D&D, and I have no doubt that Goblin sperm will factor heavily in the success of the mission at hand...

Is it wrong of me to be looking forward to that tale...?

After they tadpoles get to a certain size they'll no longer bother with eating the mosquito larvae, but the mosquitoes will keep on laying. You should double-check with your local species of frogs but up north my parents have used those bacterial mosquito tablets for years and the frogs have suffered no ill effects.

Wow, didn't you JUST get your pond in? Those little buggers breed FAST!

Also, pics or it didn't happen ;)

Yay for tadpoles! May they grow into many frogs and toads which will defend tour garden from the Mollusc Menace!

I wish I lived in a land of pondage, and got tadpoles. Alas, I live in a land of puddles, with mosquitos.

And yes, can we please have pictures of tadpoles?

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