From Eggs to Tadpoles

In April, when I published this post about toad mating day, one of my readers asked what a nest of toad eggs looks like. I was able to describe them and send a link of a website that had pictures, but I never saw any nests of toad eggs to get pictures of.

Two weekends ago, May 6th and 7th, what I thought were frogs were loudly and proudly singing their mating song.

I wandered the edge of the pond until I found the “party”.

It was a two-day event.

I took some pictures on Saturday and more on Sunday.

On Monday the frogs were quiet. I went to the area of the pond where the “party” had taken place and discovered eggs. It wasn’t until I did a little research on the internet that I realized that these are toad eggs. The difference being that frog eggs are laid in a large cluster while toad eggs are in strings like beads. What I thought were frogs were really toads.

They may be a bit difficult to see in the photos but the eggs look like black strings under the water.

Closer up they look like tiny black beads enclosed in a clear gel-like tube.

I couldn’t even begin to guess how many toads laid all these eggs or how many tadpoles would emerge from them. It’s my understanding that these eggs could take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks to hatch. It largely depends on the temperature of the water.

It was Friday, May 12, when they hatched.

These are probably the tiniest tadpoles I have ever seen. (Can you make out some of the tadpoles in the picture?) They were making their way to the beach area where the water is shallow and thus warmer.

It will now be two to three months before these little wigglers grow legs and lose their tales. That is when they will leave the pond and spend most of their lives on land.

Thanks for visiting.

28 thoughts on “From Eggs to Tadpoles

  1. I can’t say I’ve even seen a toad, but we did collect tadpoles in the Creek in the meadow at the end of our street back in Canada. I’ve not seen tadpoles in many decades – we’d bring them home in washed pickle or jam jars. Thanks for explaining this to us Ruth … it was interesting.

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      1. I don’t even see frogs in my meanderings Ruth, except that one big frog I saw at Lake Erie Metropark last year – it was huge. Wasn’t this a great weather weekend – I got a lot of things done in the yard. It looks better, but not like before due to all the dead bushes from the fire last year – they will need to be pulled out eventually. I hoped they would rise from the ashes, but no go. Now they say no rain all week – not good, especially for you and your plants.

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      2. It has been a great weekend. We got tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower planted yesterday. Tomorrow we have to get the pump in the pond because it’s looking like a very dry week. I hope that’s not the way the summer is going to go but time will tell.

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      3. I was going to say that you’d probably be using the pond to water … hope it is not hot and dry either, like the last few years. You were industrious planting all those veggies!

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  2. We get both frogs and toads in our small ponds—I love to watch the tadpoles develop. When they’re full-grown, they sit on the edge and Atlas is simultaneously fascinated and freaked out by them!

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    1. We have toads and several types of frogs. Bull frog tadpoles can get about 2 inches long and take a couple of year to become frogs. Ruby likes to chase them but has never caught one. Ranger could care less – they don’t smell like a rabbit. LOL!

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  3. Funny, just yesterday Hubby was asking me how long before tad poles become frogs. Thanks for the answer! We have lots of tadpoles in our little garden tub, that I use for pre-washing veggies before bringing them into the house. It’s waist-high, and I’m not sure how any frogs ever got in there! I never see anything like eggs in there, or frogs, but I put in a little ramp for the tadpoles to get out for whenever they are ready to go. 😁


  4. That was fascinating. I could see the “strings” of eggs. You did a great job explaining. I never knew that toads (land creatures) laid their eggs in the water like frogs. Very cool.


  5. Lol. The kids will be tickled ( literally) to find them next time they are in the pond . I never realized the hatch time could vary so greatly. Nature is incredible.

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    1. Yes! so much fun for the little ones to see. In past years we have seen them leaving the pond as well. The little toads are about the size of flies. So cute!


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