Jon Cranfield

Frogspawn is it likely next year?

In Uncategorized on August 24, 2010 at 8:25 am

Well I seem to have a good chance that frogs may find my small pond and decide to breed in it. A previous pond I had in Eastleigh had frogs laying spawn within the 2nd year after construction. I estimated around 100 frogs were using my pond based on the number of spawn clumps laid – you can also measure the spawn mat which also relates to the number of female frogs – you take the number and then double it to give a rough estimate of how many frogs are using the pond. My new pond is positioned between three known garden ponds which support common frogs – to the East of our green there are two front garden ponds which have spawn each year while another pond is located further down our road which also supported frogs. Word on the street that there are plenty of garden ponds all of them have frogs so I am hopeful that possibly the frogs will find my pond reasonably quickly….

count the number of clumps for a population estimate

Spawn in garden pond in Eastleigh 2003

The common frog or grass frog Rana temporaria (a.k.a temporary frog) is a amphibian which has largely lost its main breeding habitat in the wider countryside. In the south of England small shallow ponds tend not to be a big feature due to intensive agriculture and people tend not to create small ponds for amphibians instead the focus is mainly on great crested newts an avid predator of frogspawn and tadpoles – the frogs tend to avoid newt ponds and so prefer small shallow ponds an unsuitable breeding habitat for great crested newts.

The garden pond was a lifeline for the frog and I think that nearly any garden pond would have frogs – even with fish such as gold fish frogs do spawn in large numbers in garden ponds. My father in law pond has a small number of fish and several hundred frogs spawn each March. In comparison my parents ponds have a few spawn clumps in a fish free pond – the main problem is the number of newts – four species including the great crested and alpine newt which all predate on frog tadpoles etc

The first pond built at my parents has fish and a small toad population. It is possible that the frogs have crashed in numbers or they avoid newty ponds in favour of small weedy fish ponds.

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