17th March 2015

Frog Spawn and Marsh Marigolds, signs of Spring

Spawn laid in shallow water has the best chance of surviving

Spawn laid in shallow water has the best chance of surviving

The shiny, dark leaves and bright yellow flowers of Marsh Marigolds (Kingcups) are out before most wild flowers

The shiny, dark leaves and bright yellow flowers of Marsh Marigolds (Kingcups) are out before most wild flowers

– being near the Botanical Gardens today I popped in to see if Frog Spawn was there yet- sure enough, huge quantities have been laid in the shallow end, which is where the spawn has the best chance of surviving. There’s never too much- an individual female lays, on average, 4,000 eggs but predators, disease and cold destroy most of them. Watch the black centres closely- you will see them gradually change shape if they have been successfully fertilised, and survived the conditions. If the spawn goes milky, it means it has ‘died’, probably through the cold, but any that successfully hatch will eat the jelly so nothing goes to waste. If, like us, you have a lot of Newts in your pond you are unlikely to have successful spawning, since Newts are a main predator. Conditions: Overcast and still. Temperature: Max 7- Min 3c.

From tens of thousands of spawn, a few Frogs survive to adulthood.

From tens of thousands of spawn, a few Frogs survive to adulthood.

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