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Will my newts return to breed?

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martin g View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2007 at 11:14am

Hi

 

Well the newts have arrived,  havent found any spawn yet, but I have seen males and females in the main pond at night, not seen any courtship yet. 

All the frog spawn has successfully hatched, i have gazillions of taddies in the tiny pool.  I will have to set at least half free into the main pond, this should increase the chances for the rest and install the right balance of nature in the main pond.  As cruel as it seems, I also want the dragon fly larvae to grow and the newts to reproduce so some of those taddies will have to become 'colateral damage'.

I have fitted what is essentially a minature 'shark net' in the main pond, which sections of the shallow end.  This keeps the fish out and gives the newts a chance to lay at least without being eaten.  The entire pond bottom and sides are a rocks and boulders so once hatched any fry/tadpoles will have a place to hide away from most predators.

Its all going well, i just wish we had Cresties in the are (south somerset) they might have moved in to the little haven. The Perch will go soon, I may keep one which wont have much on an impact, I feel its the right balance.

M

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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2007 at 12:52pm

Don't feel too bad about accepting some taddies will be fodder for other species. When I got my pond the best thing I am hoping for is grass snakes - I get them in the garden occasionally - and if a few froglets become the meal that attracts them, well so be it.

I do wonder sometimes about the presence of GCNs and wonder if it is sometimes a case of not knowing they are about. A neighbour and I were chattting last week, he does gardening, and he was telling me about removing a large amount of blanket weed from a customer's pond and in it were "hundreds" he said of huge newts (indicated about 9-10"). He knows the smaller species we have in our ponds locally. He said the pond owner had no idea they were in there. He placed the weed on the edge for them to wriggle back to the pond. Maybe there are places with GCNs that are not known as no surveying is done. They are not supposed to be in my area but obviously are as another one turned up in a garden pond the other year about a mile away from the large group.

Suz
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martin g View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2007 at 4:38pm

Wow, hundreds! of GCN.  Lucky fella, I just hope that blanket weed wasnt full of spawn.

I have thought about removing all fish from my pond, afetr all there is no shortage of fish in the UK, of the species I hav anyway.  Maybe that will attract cresties if there are any here, i am right on the edge of farmland and meadow so there must be a chance.

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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2007 at 7:24pm
Sorry Martin I didn't make clear that the blanket weed was not removed in the breeding season - although that was by luck and not judgement!
Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2007 at 6:23pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, as you can see, they returned, a very fat female, one of several I saw tonight, and a few males too including the very pale (albino?) male in the other pic.



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martin g View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2007 at 1:52pm
Despite the fat females in the pond, i am struggling to find any evidence of laying.  I have found ONE what i think is a newt spawn, a single egg folded in an oxygen weed leaf.  But just one??  Do they spwn in any other ways, random dropping of them onto the pond bed? There is lanket weed, but no eggs in there???  are they usually tough to find?  sorry for all the Qs
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alex2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2007 at 2:23pm
Yep, that's a newt egg alright Martin. I'm sure that you'll find more over the coming weeks, and it's also safe to assume there are more in your pond...You've just not spotted them yet. Remember, newt eggs make up part of an adult newts diet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2007 at 6:06pm

Well there were at least 6 pairs courting this evening so there may be hope.  I didnt realise the newts ate the eggs, newts arent nice at all are they, they eat the taddies too.

I am going to seperate about a dozen and hatch them out of the pond, just to ensure a few make it to an inch, then they can go back. Noticed what looked like a few very young dragon fly nymphs around, i am lucky enough to get the huge dragonflies in my garden, big blue ones (emperors I think?) so i want to keep them too but there will be an almighty struggle in the little eco system that is my garden this year.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2007 at 6:27pm
Erm I get the dragonflies too and methinks they're not such good guys to the other stuff in the pond. I think you have to just let them all get on with it although I know it's tempting to help out.
Suz
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martin g View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote martin g Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar 2007 at 2:34pm
Whys that suzi?   not such good guys that is?
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