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Pottie Pam

I was thrilled to see lots of toad spawn today. I thought I heard a toad the other night but I haven't seen any. Last year I found at least 6 adults dead or dying with wounds. I suspected birds but all's well so far this year. I never get frog spawn not sure why.

Dovefromabove

Fantastic!    We've seen young toads in this garden but no adults so are not expecting spawn this year - we have got frogs in the garden but before we made our pond last year they spawned in next door's pond, so I don't know whether they'll use our pond this year - I live in hope

madpenguin

Lovely to hear you have toad spawn.I only get frog spawn but do get toads in the garden.

A friend of mine who has a large pond used to get loads of frog spawn but they now have grass snakes in the garden and all the adult frogs were eaten.

However for the last few years they have had masses of toad spawn and when the toadlets leave the pond the whole garden is alive with them!

I think the grass snake likes frogs but avoids eating toads.

GemmaJF

Awww we can't blame the poor old grass snakes 

They only eat something the size of an adult frog once every other week  Most grass snakes just love eating toads, very tasty to a grass snake, if not to many other predators. (though there is some field research indicating that some individuals are toad eaters, whilst others prefer frogs and newts!)

I think something more like this is what has happened:

The frogs are explosive breeders and have their day when ponds are fairly young. In time the number of invertebrate predators (mostly diving beetles and dragonfly larva) increase in the pond. These do for all the frog tadpoles eventually, so slowly over time the adult frogs appear to disappear as they are not being replaced.

Toads though have very distasteful (and to many predators poisonous) tadpoles, some are taken but most predators will avoid them. So in time the toads take over, the grass snakes win either way. It just wouldn't work at all for them if they were able to eat all the adult frogs from a population though, they would have become extinct thousands of years ago. 

 

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