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anthropic, FishinRod, SetterGuy
Total Likes: 4
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#548252 05/21/2022 12:20 PM
by jim100
jim100
Walking around the edge of pond there are very dense clouds of the little black tadpoles that I think are toad. More tadpole than water in some cases. I saw some
small fingerling bass swimming around but they seemed to avoid the whole congregation. Maybe they are full or toad tadpoles don't eat very well?
Liked Replies
#548255 May 21st a 12:44 PM
by canyoncreek
canyoncreek
Jim these are indeed the 'toad poles' of the American Toad. Yours are almost at the exact stage as the ones in my pond. Google what the adult male and female american toad look like. They all make a ruckus of calls on spring nights with air temps hit a certain point. They all then meet in the water (even though they spend their life on land) They carouse, compete, then the smaller male clings to the larger females back while eggs are laid and fertilized. Big strings of eggs lay on the bottom for about another week. The strands get larger and fuzzier as they expand and then one day there are zillions of little black toads. I think Azteca just posted a video of the little critters.

I have never had any fish try to eat them. Remember LMB eat tadpoles and frogs but these are NOT frogs, they are toads. Perhaps they release some substance that warns critters to not eat them which is wild since LMB will try to eat ANYTHING.

I always want to rake out the fall leaves and left over algae this time of year but I can't once the toad mating begins for fear of raking out the toad egg strands or later the toads tinies themselves. They do an AWESOME job of eating everything on the bottom in the shallows. They put a big dent in my shallow water algae. The bottom goes from nasty brown to clean sand by the time they are done. Then slowly they grow legs and one day they all crawl out of the pond together. If you catch this mass exodus you will see the grass moving with millions of tiny toads struggling to work their way through the grass towards the woods. They then disappear in the woods the rest of the year till that magic warm night in the spring when they all jump back in your pond!
2 members like this
#548256 May 21st a 12:52 PM
by canyoncreek
canyoncreek
Google has taught me a few things this morning.

1. Toads don't 'copulate', 'date' or 'mate', they 'amplex' or get into position of 'amplexus'

2. Toads secrete a predator-repelling toxin, a chemical weapon! The class of chemicals are called bufadienolides. Studies show it is wildly effective against fish and vertebrate predators but less so for invertebrate predators. The main predators of these toad-poles are backswimmers and dragon fly nymphs and then sticklebacks and newts (in that order) This probably explains why there is always tons of backswimmers and dragonfly larvae in my pond too! This is probably why the fish keep their distance.
1 member likes this
#548276 May 21st a 10:02 PM
by canyoncreek
canyoncreek
Oh, yes about 100 of these all at once at night can be quite the chorus!!

[video:youtube]
[/video]
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