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Late Spawning Common Toads!

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Adderz View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Sep 2011 at 11:18am
Hi All,
 
I just wondered if anyone else has seen or heard of Common Toads spawning in late summer? And if so does anyone know how common an occurence it is?
 
I have recently help create some ponds on a country park in the central belt of scotland. The ponds were created in mid-May and when we went back in July to take a look there were at least a couple of lots of toad spawn. I myself have never come across this before? There is an existing pond not far away which had toads spawning at the "normal" time earlier this year and so it is not like they have been denied a breeding pond until now.
 
The tadpoles are developing really quick and some have already left the pond, which I guess is a benefit of spawning so late. The one lot of spawn is alot further behind and not sure if the tadpoles will metamorphose before winter. Can toad tadpoles overwinter in ponds? I myself have never found them to.
 
Cheers
 
Rob
 
 
 
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Donny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Sep 2011 at 5:56pm
A lot of atypical animal behavior seems to get reported here doesn't it?

I used to hear what sounded exactly like male common toads calling on and off in the evening all through summer at a pond near where I grew up, but the shallows of the pond in question were surrounded by really deep dangerous mud so I never got to verify with a sighting.


Edited by Donny - 08 Sep 2011 at 5:56pm
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Adderz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adderz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2011 at 8:18pm
Cheers Donny,
 
It is good to take note of these quirky occurences with our species. I take it from the lack of replies that not many people have come across this before? I wonder if the reason the toads spawned in July was because they were in poor condition in the normal breeding season (immediately after winter) and needed to build up their reserves first? Or that they were young females and only became sexually mature in mid season?
 
Just a couple of thoughts.
 
Cheers
 
Rob
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2011 at 5:07pm
Hi Rob; I once saw a pair in amplexus in Cornwall in late July, and thought it unusual enough to photograph them in front of the day's newspaper to prove the occurrence.  I wonder if the mild climate there allowed them to spawn twice in the season.  I think natterjacks can spawn more than once in a season, but this would be an adaptation to a habitat in which the first spawn could be left high and dry as the shallow slacks dry out, not something you'd have a problem with if spawning in the deeper water favoured by B Bufo, so for me your obs is a real oddity!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2011 at 9:17am
I found spawning common toads in the Jura in France (in the vicinity of Besancon) in early August sometime around 1987.  This was not at high altitude and I put it down to a quirk.  Regarding their tadpoles over wintering I have never found toad tadpoles in a pond in the autumn.  Whereas common frogs can suffer growth inhibition when over crowded, lingering in the ponds until the winter, with toads it appears that they either grow and metamorphose, or die off/get predated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sussexecology Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2011 at 7:40pm
Originally posted by will will wrote:

Hi Rob; I once saw a pair in amplexus in Cornwall in late July, and thought it unusual enough to photograph them in front of the day's newspaper to prove the occurrence.  I wonder if the mild climate there allowed them to spawn twice in the season.  I think natterjacks can spawn more than once in a season, but this would be an adaptation to a habitat in which the first spawn could be left high and dry as the shallow slacks dry out, not something you'd have a problem with if spawning in the deeper water favoured by B Bufo, so for me your obs is a real oddity!


I just had the same thought as you Rob when reading this post that it's probably to do with the mild weather.

Could this be an example of a species adapting to our current climate? 

Could it also be possible that the toads had a poor breeding season earlier in the year, and so taking advantage of the mild weather now?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 2011 at 6:11pm
We had spawning in Oxford - though toad spawning in July is not particularly late for Scotland is it?

http://www.arguk.org/indian-summer-gets-toads-in-the-mood
Report your sightings to the Record Pool http://arguk.org/recording
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adderz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2012 at 3:28pm
Interesting stuff....... I am in the central belt of Scotland and although we are a wee bit colder up here I wouldn't have thought it was that much of a difference. I have never seen toad spawn in July (or even June for that matter) before. Anyways, I checked on the pond before any real cold weather hit in mid November and there were a few toad tadpoles still present so it will be interesting to see if any survive the winter. The mild winter we have had will give them as good a chance as any (if indeed they can overwinter).
 
Cheers
 
Rob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caleb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 2:35pm
I've just seen toads and spawn in a pond in Gateshead- almost two months later than another pond about a mile from it. The latest I've previously seen spawn in the NE was 26th April (in 2008).

I'm guessing this is a late spawning rather than a second one...

(And yes, July IS particularly late for Scotland. It's not beyond the arctic circle!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 5:16pm
very interesting! natterjacks seem to be able to hold off spawning, but this could be something new for common toads.  I have noticed that newts deprived of the chance to breed due to dry ponds in March entered ponds in late April once they refilled and busily started making up for lost time, courting and egg laying.  Presumably the toad pond wasn't dry earlier in the season, given that they tend to breed in permanent waterbodies, or am I wrong?
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