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"Foreign frog" spawn

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Chris Monk View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 May 2006 at 6:34pm

Had this e-mail from the local Wildlife Trust reserves team the other week.

I wonder if you can help, the other day I went to O***** and found some strange frog spawn just in front of the platform. I found it last year and roughly identified it as one of these foreign frogs, Marsh frog or something, but thought it might have been introduced?!. The spawn is in a string which is in the shape of a large tube which spirals slightly and is attached to the submerged vegetation If you are passing might be worth taking a look? Hope you can help.

I haven't had time to visit the site and as the spawn was seen a fortnight ago it has probably disappeared now. Does anyone think this sounds like a description of spawn from marsh or green frogs and/or has a link to a site with photos of their spawn. Not aware of any introduced alien frog species around that part of the County. In the past have recorded Common Toads at that nature reserve, so could be just a toad with some abnormality in its spawn string.

Chris

Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

www.derbyshirearg.co.uk

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Chris Monk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Monk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2006 at 6:30pm

Thanks David,

John Newton & I discussed this and we also both think it is (mis-shaped) toad spawn. It probably won't be there next year if I go out to check.

Chris

Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

www.derbyshirearg.co.uk

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Chris Monk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Monk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2006 at 12:07pm

Despite his original e-mail about it being "foreign frogs, Marsh frog or something," when told it was certainly toad spawn he promptly e-mailed back to say "The species I identified it to was spadefoot toad spp. Had to look in my European books to find a description."

So the question again is whether his description matches the spawn of spadefoot toads, together with the additional question of are there records of this species introduced to the wild and spawning in this country?

The Nature Reserve is wet woodland with marsh, ponds and a fast flowing stream. Unfortunately next to the official nature reserve sign at the entrance, like most of our other wetland reserves, it also has a sign invisible to us but obviously plainly visible to others that says "Please dump all your unwanted pets, exotic pond plants, etc here" which is why we end up with Azolla, Crassula, Canadian pondweed, goldfish and obviously dumped frog spawn in so many of our reserves.

Chris

Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

www.derbyshirearg.co.uk

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote -LAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2006 at 1:04pm
If this is the site I think it is then (i.e. one that opens again soon)  I have no doubt that common toads breed there.  They would be quite competative as they wouldn't suffer from the same lanky avian predation that frogs do. The description of a spiralled tube wrapped among vegetation is textbook toadspawn as well.

Toadspawn

If the book he identified it from is the Arnold and Ovenden (Colins) guide then the only similar spawn shown in the plate in that book is spadefoot, but that plate is exceedingly limited. The key works well enough though.

And if he's seen spawn two years in a row... that would mean something that's breeding there... and it's just not the type of habbitat that you'd associate with Spadefoots.

My money would be on common toads.
Lee Fairclough
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