Toad Tadpole Life Cycle
Water Dog Pictorial
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV
Misc Frogs V
Pet World Visit
Off to a Slow Start: Well, we sort of got distracted on the way to building our toad tadpole page. May is the primo month to capture these guys, and we started doing other stuff in the meantime. Here it is May again (after two years), so it's back to the grindstone.
Bottom Feeders: If you crush some flake foods in your fingers and rinse it into their water, your toad tadpoles will scoot around the bottom nibbling up these little orts and ends. HBH makes an evidently tasty tadpole food they sometimes seem to enjoy. However, any food you give them probably tastes better than pond scum.
Side Feeders: Toad tadpoles nosh on algae and detritus in their natural habitats (truck tire ruts). They'll rasp at green water plants also. They eat algae but much prefer most other foods. They grow faster in captivity because of the better food and usually cleaner and often warmer water. In the wild, their shallow ponds heat up fast on sunny days.
Top Feeders: Once toad tadpoles realize they can find food at the surface, they come right to the top -- about five minutes after you add the flake food. They evidently smell it. Perhaps they even see it. You can see them grab specific bits of food.
Looks like quite a bit of extra food here. However, there's
about a hundred toad tadpoles in this 10 gallon tank. If any of this
pile is still there tomorrow, we will siphon it out. Snails
make quicker-picker-uppers but they are faster eaters than the baby
tadpoles and will get all the food first.
In the Wild Again: We took another tack and headed down along the Des Moines River. Every spring (April, May, June) we get enough rain to overflow its banks. (In 1993 the Riverview Park mentioned earlier was under an extra 14 feet of overflow.) We see these temporary ponds every year. The bike path you see in the background was only four feet under water in 1993 -- quite sufficient to discourage most joggers.
The Season: You can see a bit of cottonwood "fluff" in the middle. This gives you another idea of what time of year you can find toad tadpoles. (Cottonwood trees grow along rivers because they can stand up to occasional long-term inundations. Unfortunately, they are shallow rooted and tend to fall over if they're wet long enough.)
Toad Eggs: We were researching "toad ponds" in hopes of finding toad eggs. We've seen them but never captured them by photo. Female toads lay very long easily distinguishable strings of black eggs. Their eggs number in the thousands and exceed several feet in length.
Meanwhile, Back at Aqualand: The photos below give you an idea of how our captive toad tadpoles are faring. They're decreasing in numbers because people keep buying them. They really want frog tadpoles but wind up taking a dozen or so toad tadpoles instead.
Surf's Up: Our Army Corps of Engineers raised the level of the Des Moines River overnight. The jogging trail to the left goes under the far bridge as well as under the water. The now connected formerly nearly dry ponds now comprise one three-foot deep, very long biotope. This time I brought collecting equipment (actually, basics are always in my car's trunk) and harvested beau coup tadpoles. Unfortunately, none were toad tadpoles.
Harvesting the Pond: We wore shoes suitable for aquatic research. They've been under water many times. However, we were not expecting to go into waist-deep water. Keeping an extendable pool net in your trunk makes the job easier. We brought several containers, but wound up using only one -- a one gallon ice cream bucket. We "captured" water boatmen, pond snails, and innumerable maple tree seeds. Not sure what to call the little "minnows." They sported pudgy little bellies. We may be able to ID them after they get a few more miles on them. Unfortunately, we caught aught toad tadpoles.
Almost Final Results: Once the toad tadpoles metamorphosize into toadlets, they have few enemies. However, I've seen groups of grackles (not near as many as you see in a Hitchcock movie) swoop down and feast on the new toadlets. They're smaller than a breeder-size cricket, so it takes several to make a full meal. LA
More of a Weather Report: Then the Army Corps of Engineers raised the river level enough to cover the road and the bridge over it. It's almost a half mile wide two pics above. The former ponds are under yards of water. LA
Other Tadpole Info -- Tadpoles
3600 Sixth Avenue
Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues
Des Moines, IA 50313
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Pla Kat
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly V
Pleco Costly VI
Pleco Costly VII
USD Gold Flake
Misc Catfish II
Misc Catfish III
Misc Catfish IV
Misc Catfish V
Misc Catfish VI
Misc Catfish VII
Misc Catfish VIII
Jack Dempsey Spawn
Jaguar Spawning II
Red Devils 2008
Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon