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Frogs know spring is here in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 09:10 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:16 12 March 2018

Frogs have emerged from hibernation and started spawning. Picture: Chris Bishop

Frogs have emerged from hibernation and started spawning. Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

Just days after the departure of the Beast from the East, ponds are stirring with a sure sign Spring's on its way.

Frogs spawning in an allotment pond. Picture: Chris BishopFrogs spawning in an allotment pond. Picture: Chris Bishop

Frogs have emerged as the temperature rises. And the first thing on their mind is spawning.

Conservation group Froglife said this year’s breeding season had been delayed by the cold snap.

Frogs spawning. Picture: Chris BishopFrogs spawning. Picture: Chris Bishop

Its chief executive Kathy Wormald said: “Because of the cold snap the frogs are spawning a bit later than usual, we normally get reports of spawning from mid-feb and in some years if it has been very mild it can even be January.

“Unfortunately the cold snap has also caused a lot of winter-kill, this happens when the amphibians have already started to migrate to their ponds and then get stuck in frozen ponds and die of the cold.”

Frogs have emerged from hibernation and started spawning. Picture: Chris BishopFrogs have emerged from hibernation and started spawning. Picture: Chris Bishop

The creatures congregate in ponds, ditches and other areas of water to begin their nuptials.

Frog courtship is a tuneful affair. The males pop their heads up, swell their throats and croak to attract a mate. Their rhythmic song rings out through the reeds.

Frog spawn in a pond. Picture: Chris BishopFrog spawn in a pond. Picture: Chris Bishop

Each female will lay a raft of spawn containing around 2,000 eggs, from which tadpoles will hatch in two to four weeks.

They’ll start life feeding on algae and daphnia, sprouting back and front legs as they grow larger.

By early summer, they will have absorbed their tails and become tiny froglets..

Gardeners find installing a small pond can encourage frogs to colonise their plots, where they eat slugs and insects.

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