Saturday, 15 March 2014

Spring Jelly Babies Under Attack

I've been checking my pond daily for a while on the look out for the first sign of frog spawn. None this morning but on returning from our afternoon walkies there it was. The first batch this year. I could see movement nearby and what looked like a webbed foot. I though it was a frog and fetched the 70D to take some shots and maybe some video:

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Imagine my surprise when I eventually made out the shape of a newt:

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After observing the activity for some time it became obvious that the newt was attacking the frog spawn as it probably thought it had found an easy meal:



To me that appears to be a female newt and she looks fairly fat so she may have seen the frog spawn as a rival to any she may be ready to lay. I will have to keep a sharp look out as I have never seen any newt spawn in the pond though there are at least five residents.

It is easy to tell which spawn is which as that from frogs makes a tightly packed clump in shallow water as in the photos above. Toads lay their spawn in strings usually wrapped around vegetation in slightly deeper water and newts lay individual eggs on submerged plant leaves.

I have never noticed this activity in the past though it could well have happened every year. It looks as though the spawn was quite a difficult meal to grab hold of and as the pond usually ends up with several batches of frog spawn there should still be some tadpoles and froglets later in the year.

8 comments:

  1. i can't imagine she's going to make too much of a dent in that frog population. kinda neat, though.

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    Replies
    1. TWG: The ones in the centre should be OK.

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  2. An interesting phenomenon ~ fascinating to watch and see what will happen next.

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    Replies
    1. Glo: The eggs in the centre are still OK so they should develop.

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  3. wonderful observations, John. I have only seen newts a few times - I'm envious that you have them in your pond.

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    Replies
    1. Wilma: I think the newts arrived many years ago when the land behind me became a building site and it is great to be able to observe them from time to time.

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  4. Great video. I have never seen them do that.
    Have you got a polariser for that lens? It would cut down the reflections.

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    Replies
    1. Adrian: No I don't have a polariser for that lens, yet. Should have one by the middle of the week.

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Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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