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Goodness! Who knew frogs were so…fertile?

Dear me. I got up this morning and…whoa.

Look closely at this photo.

What you should see there, despite regrettable focus and all, are a great many little black dots.

Those are frog eggs.

We have had a number of frog eggs in the pond, which then become tadpoles, so that in and of itself is not terribly significant, except that this time, the frogs REALLY outdid themselves.  Yesterday’s torrential rains were clearly some kind of amphibious aphrodisiac. Like…they have covered the entire surface of the pond.

It’s not a huge pond, I grant you, but it’s a good six feet in diameter, and it is coated. The existing tadpoles are having to shove the eggs aside to come up to the surface, the water striders are reduced to a sort of waddle—I never thought I’d see a bug stumble, but I can’t really explain it any other way—and if there are less than a thousand eggs, I would be very much surprised.

The Big tadpoles have grown teeny little legs and may soon be actual frogs. Unless they gain size substantially, I must assume that they are cricket frogs, but it’s still hard to tell. Some variety of leopard frog also lives in the pond, and in order to produce that many eggs, I don’t know HOW many cricket frogs you’d need…a lot, obviously.

I swear, a pond is the most fun you can have with biology with your clothes on.

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

*marvels at all those little black dots* That's... a lotta frogs!

Let the feeding frenzy begin!

There's a reason they have so many offspring. ;)

You are like, single-handedly maintaining some amphibian populations, huh? ;)

It's their birthday present to you: "Here, I made you this!" :P

Awesome! Sure, only whatever percent of them will survive to adulthood, but dang, that still is a lot of frog eggs!

I swear, a pond is the most fun you can have with biology with your clothes on. LOL


As I biologist I must say, "This!". Also, want to come say that to my college students?

I think amphibians are sometimes given to "swarming". Most years here we see a number of tiny baby toads just about my birthday in July. Tens or maybe hundreds. But three times in 25 years, they have swarmed in an incredible way - tens of thousands, certainly, maybe hundreds of thousands. The grass appeared to shimmer with hopping micro-toads, and we simply could not walk into the garden - each pace would have killed a dozen or more of the tiny creatures. For two days they were everywhere, for another two a few moved (like a normal year), and then they were gone. And the normal toad population of the garden is but a handful.

Those frogs have been BUSY.

With any luck, you'll soon have a full frog orchestra and choir to lull you to sleep every evening.

it could be a reaction to the cicada's 13 year reappearance couldn't it? sudden up swing in food sources- sudden upswing in babies.

i think mostly, this is a sign that your gardening tatics are definitly working.

Every summer, we have Frog Porn Central in our pool here in Houston. It's about 12x20 feet, varyng in depth from 5 to 8 feet, and it is also COVERED with eggs and then tadpoles and then tiny, tiny frogs, so tiny that it's impossible for them to get out by themselves (a two-by-four with one end on the ground and one floating in the water seems to work). But there are JULLIONS of them. Not even jillions, which is smaller by an order of magnitude, but JULLIONS.

Pool frogs in 2005.

Snakes and herons incoming!

Well I guess we know how the frogs celebrated the Birthday of the Pond Digger. :D

...if there are less than a thousand eggs, I would be very much surprised.

I think you may be off by an order of magnitude at least -- there are around four hundred just in the little section you photographed. Guessing at the size of the photo, that's probably closer to 10,000 eggs!


Theoretically the existing tadpoles in there ought to have a feast on those eggs. We once plopped a whole bunch of eggs into an 'aquarium' (foot square jar with lid) and when they began to hatch, dumped in spinach that had started to go icky. They consumed that and when they grew bigger began consuming each other. Eventually there were three huge ones left, and we removed two. The remaining one lived on the icky spinach till one day it crept up on a rock (we kept reducing the water level as its legs grew), and turned into a darling wee baby toad. We were surprised at the 'toad' part because the younger child had brought up the eggs in her hands from the pond belonging to a boy a couple of years her senior (like he was seven?), and she informed us that a) they (the eggs) had just been 'done', and b) the two beasts involved were big frogs, all green and shiny. Don't ask.
(edited because today I can't spell)

Edited at 2011-05-28 08:45 pm (UTC)