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Miranda Hodgson

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The frogs are active but the ladybirds are still napping

Posted by Miranda Hodgson on 13 Mar 2011 at 02:02 PM

Visiting a friend yesterday, I was delighted to see that her garden pond was full of frogs (Rana temporaria) – there must have been 50 or more - and that they are laying spawn. My friend told me that the frogs started laying on Thursday the 10th of March, which is a few days earlier than last year, when they had not yet started spawning on the 14th of March, although they were gathering in the pond and getting ready.

 

 

These frogs were less self-conscious than the frogs I tried to photograph last year; they didn’t duck under the water as soon as I approached, but ignored me and the water was full of wriggling bodies, splashing and croaking amongst the plants and darting about the pebbles at the bottom. Others were floating protectively near the clumps of spawn already laid.

 

 

 

If each female lays at least one clump of frogspawn, then there will be a huge number of tadpoles. In 30 to 40 days, thousands of tadpoles will begin to hatch out, but of each 2000, only about five will survive to become frogs, with the rest being eaten by birds or grass snakes. This is normal, though, and the reason that frogs lay so many eggs.

Elsewhere in the garden, ladybirds - mainly the seven-spotted Coccinella septempunctata - are still in a state of semi-hibernation and we found them in small clusters all around the compost bays. Move almost any piece of wood, plant debris or plant pot and there underneath would be a cluster of ladybirds.

 

 

 

 

I see this in every garden I visit and don’t think I have ever seen them in numbers as high as I have done this spring. If all goes well, we should have less trouble with aphids this summer.

 

 

Read more about frogs

Read more about ladybirds

Comments

David Benson said:

Gorgeous - all that soggy fecundity. Lovely pics too, as always! xx

on 13 Mar 2011 at 03:12 PM

richardpeeej said:

I love the first frog picture Miranda. This would make a nice page for a calendar showing March. I have noticed quite a few ladybirds this year too when I have moved things in the garden.Very interesting read as always...

on 13 Mar 2011 at 06:25 PM

pushkin said:

That first picture is wonderful. Your pictures always are very good but that particular one is magical.

on 14 Mar 2011 at 07:29 PM

EvaInNL said:

LOVE that picture of the frogs Miranda!

on 15 Mar 2011 at 01:35 PM

Miranda Hodgson said:

Thank you for the nice comments! I'll make a bigger version of the four frogs image and post it up here. They are indeed very fine frogs!

on 18 Mar 2011 at 09:28 AM

EvaInNL said:

Thanks for the larger size image Miranda, I have it as my desktop wallpaper now! :o)

on 19 Mar 2011 at 01:33 PM

Miranda Hodgson said:

Good stuff, Eva! :-)

on 23 Mar 2011 at 08:54 AM