Projects – Tiny Tadpoles (Abridged)

I’m reblogging my tiny tadpoles post from 2013. The weather during the time I rescued them was much like we are having now…daily, heavy rain. These storms cause the overflow of creeks and swampy areas where tadpoles hatch. The puddles these small creatures are trapped in quickly evaporate in summer’s heat. This is a very interesting project for children. The small toads can be released in your garden. This post is a condensation of four posts.

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On a visit to the Jersey shore town of Strathmere last weekend, my husband and I parked in a huge puddle on the side of the road. When we returned to the truck after a day on the beach, I noticed that the puddle was filled with hundreds, if not thousands of tiny tadpoles.  I couldn’t resist saving a few and scooped them up with my palm and carried them home in a water bottle. A week later, most are thriving, although I think I did lose two or three. They are beginning to develop legs and the shape of their head is changing.

I found a site explaining how to care for the small amphibians. A good way to feed them is to boil green lettuces until they are pulpy and place bits of it in the water.

Here is a terrific page on how to raise tadpoles to maturity.

Raising Tadpoles

I’m not sure what type of frog or toad these tadpoles are, but I am thinking most likely they are garden toads or tree frogs.

Later: The tadpoles have flourished in a small container. They are quickly metamorphosing into frogs or toads. I still have not figured out which species they will ultimately become.

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Here’s a close-up of the frog/toad. My final thoughts on the adventure. I’m very glad I saved the tadpoles. When I first observed them in the puddles I also saw red-winged blackbirds plucking them out of the water as an easy meal. I knew that in their quickly evaporating puddle not many would survive.

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Later Still: Yesterday, while watering my herb garden, a flash of movement caught my eye. Oh my! An adorable tiny toad, no bigger than a dime, was jumping away from the splashing droplets of the hose. I knew it had to be one of the toads I had raised from a tadpole. I ran for the house and my camera, praying the toad wouldn’t jump out of sight. He didn’t. I was able to get a good photo of him.


It was a lot of work raising the toad. I hope a few of his brothers and sisters are somewhere hopping around the garden too.


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