the online meeting place for all who love our amphibians and reptiles
Home Page Live Forums Archived Forums Site Search Identify Record Donate Projects Links
Forum Home Forum Home > Herpetofauna Native to the UK > Common Frog
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Protecting frog spawn from frost
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Protecting frog spawn from frost

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
Author
Message
Liz Heard View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Location: South West
Status: Offline
Points: 1339
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Protecting frog spawn from frost
    Posted: 23 Feb 2018 at 10:34am
Hi all,

Great to hear the reports from your garden ponds - thanks.

I discovered around 15 clumps of spawn in one of mine yesterday. Funny thing, last year the spawning all took place in my other, smaller pond. Unsure why the preference changed..

Anyway, there's freezing conds on the way and I don't want to lose the spawn to frost, so yesterday I took some clumps, put them in a disused plastic kitchen bin and placed it in the spare room. However, when my partner found out, she herself went spare, so the bin now resides in our very darkened garden shed.

I've got a very large (about 180 x 80 x 80 cm) aquarium with glass 1.5 cm thick in the garden. I wondered about putting the spawn in receptacles and inverting the aquarium over them, effectively creating a greenhouse. I suppose it depends just how cold temps get, but do you think this would be effective protection?
Also wondered about temporarily covering the spawn in situ in the pond whenever the temps drop steeply by means of some old carpet,rubber sheeting or similar?
Or how about dropping the spawn into deeper water?

Can anyone offer any advice or thoughts on the above or suggest any other options please?

Thanks!
Ben
Back to Top
GemmaJF View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Essex
Status: Offline
Points: 4312
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2018 at 5:51pm
Deeper water may not help Ben as it needs to be near the surface for oxygen exchange.  If it gets fully submerged, think it will kill it any way.

Here is a thought though, once when out in the field I found a discarded newspaper at the edge of a pond. Initially just removed it because it did not look nice, then I got a huge surprise, it was full of newts! Dozens of them. Between the wet sheets it felt noticeably much warmer than the pond water.  So perhaps plenty of sheets of old newspaper to cover it or some cardboard laid over it will protect it enough?


Edited by GemmaJF - 23 Feb 2018 at 5:54pm
Back to Top
Suzi View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1021
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2018 at 8:45pm
My solitary clump of spawn has been frozen a few times now. Surely nature allows for this, with spawning months before the end of all frosts? 

Suz
Back to Top
kevinb View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Mar 2009
Location: England
Status: Offline
Points: 221
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevinb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2018 at 10:42pm
Maybe some bubblewrap would work, it would insulate but still allow light into the pond.
Back to Top
Liz Heard View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Location: South West
Status: Offline
Points: 1339
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2018 at 10:28am
Nature does indeed allow for it Suzi - some canny frogs breed later, across an area and sometimes in the same pond too. However, most often when i've examined spawn after a frost (both in my garden and elsewhere), i've found it to be no longer viable. You can tell straight away as the nucleii turn whitish - even the eggs at the bottom of the clump.

Thanks for the suggestions Gemma and Kev - newspaper and bubble wrap (which resembles frog spawn!) seem like good ideas.

I considered putting spawn into deeper water because a few years ago, there were some clumps a couple of foot down in a preformed pond lacking shallow areas that was freestanding on the grass. Assuming it had perished, i went away working for 3 weeks and when i returned i was pleasantly surprised to find it teeming with tadpoles. Perhaps with it's sides exposed to the sun during the day though, it was warmer than would otherwise have been the case.
Back to Top
Suzi View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1021
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2018 at 12:50pm
Ben I was trying to say, not very well, why would some frogs choose (or be inclined) to breed so early and have little chance of success if a frost was likely to kill the whole batch? It doesn't seem very clever of nature to me. Or is it a case of a kind of spread of laying times in the hopes of some early batches making it through? I wonder if a particular frog lays at more or less the same date each year.
Must say my last years clumps were laid I think in March and I was concerned when I saw this clump recently. There are still frogs in the ponds but the sub zero temps seem to be discouraging further laying (good?!).
In my preform ponds when the frogs lay they lay on top of water weed so the spawn is held up, however when I used to scoop it out for raising elsewhere I found that it quickly slithered off into deep water if I wasn't careful. Interesting what you say that your deep water spawn hatched anyway.

Suz
Back to Top
GemmaJF View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Essex
Status: Offline
Points: 4312
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2018 at 11:43pm
Could it be Ben's pond is very well oxygenated so the spawn can survive being submersed? Seen a few pictures of you pond Ben and it seems well stocked with a variety of oxygenating plants, so perhaps the deep water is better than chancing the frost in a well oxygenated pond?

Last year our frogs spawned over just a few days in early March. So if there had been a heavy frost before it hatched, think we might have lost the lot. The spawning was a good 6-7 weeks before the usual last frost date locally which is late April. 
Back to Top
Liz Heard View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Location: South West
Status: Offline
Points: 1339
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Mar 2018 at 12:38pm
Well i've decided to keep the spawn in the shed, though with temps forecast as plummeting to as much as -12 (yikes!), i'm not sure how safe it'll be. Seems the best available option though.

However, as in other years, i've got a small clump (now at 'hanging' stage) on the window sill.

My son John's taken an interest (that's m'boy! ).
Pic taken 28/2/18





Thanks for the replies/comments.
Back to Top
Suzi View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1021
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Mar 2018 at 2:56pm
Wish I hadn't left my spawn to fend for itself! As the weather worsened I kept thinking shall I or shan't I. Then it got too frozen in and so is probably doomed. Here's hoping for more layers after this cold and snow passes by. Good luck with yours Ben. Good to get the little ones interested early. I mean kids not tadpoles!
Suz
Back to Top
Liz Heard View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Location: South West
Status: Offline
Points: 1339
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Mar 2018 at 5:34pm
That's a shame, but like you said Suzi - hopefully more frogs will turn up and breed once 'the beast' has cleared off.
It's been snowing here continuously since this morning, although the flakes are very small. I ventured into the garden earlier to find the ice on the ponds was around 4 cm thick! My 'spawn bin' in the shed hasn't fared much better. I can only hope the lower clumps are ok.
The larvae in the kitchen are doing well with some of them starting to wriggle around a little now, but i'll need to be careful when changing the water by first bringing it up to room temp before replacing (i suspect it wouldn't be a good idea to just add freezing cold pond water as that might be a bit of a harmful shock to delicate hatchlings!).
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.06
Copyright ©2001-2016 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.062 seconds.