From Tadpole to Toadlet- 06.07.12
The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.
This spring, I had the opportunity to raise a number of toads from tadpole and track their development along the way! Metamorphosis is always fascinating and it’s incredible to see how much they change as they grow on their journey from tadpole to toadlet! More photos and video on the next page.
Very young tadpoles, not too long out of the egg!
The tadpoles snacking one on of a number of vegetables. In addition to pond weed, they had bits of fish flake, broccoli, leeks and various cabbages.
Look at their little mouths!
And tiny little eyes!
A frenzy of feeding tadpoles.
Back legs! Already, you can see the shape of the head beginning to change as well. Interestingly, they begin using their back legs already at this stage, both to actively swim as well as to start climbing and settling around the aquarium. It’s also worth noting that tadpoles grow their back legs first, unlike newt larvae, which as you may remember, start with their arms!
Before taking this photo, I had no idea about the beautiful patterning on their tails!
The debut of arms! However, this little one still has a very long tail and it’s head shape is quite a ways off that of the emerging toadlet.
Beginning to look like a proper toad!
The more developed toad-like tadpoles are actually a bit smaller than the largest tadpoles.
An emerging toadlet! The toadlets are so much smaller than the largest tadpoles! The climb out onto a combination of plants (real and fake) as well as aquarium dividers adapted to form banks.
Within days, the tiny tails disappear, colors change and the characteristic warts and glands are visible. The tiny toadlets have impressively voracious appetites as well!