Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Future Bufo americanus

I have a pet common toad (Bufo ameicanus) that lives in the small waterfall in my patio. It must be at least 7 year old now. Once in a while, I see it outside sightseeing in the back yard. I call it "it" because I am not sure if it's a "he" or a "she." Whatever its gender, it is quite busy procreating at this moment. My little pond is full of little tad poles swimming around... thousands of them... and outside, in this large container for my new lotus, you can see thousands of newly laid eggs. This water was empty of inhabitants just two days ago. Click on the photo and you'll see thousands of the little spheres of life in the water.

The Common Toad is widespread throughout the whole of Europe and Asia, abundant everywhere except Ireland, it will be found in woods, fields, gardens, and any dark moist areas. Outside of the breeding season it can be found in drier areas. A nocturnal animal it eats insects, worms, molluscs and occasionally small amphibians. It hibernates over winter in small dry holes and under logs and stones. It lives in Lan's little fountain, I must add!

After mating the female lays two strings of 1000-6000 eggs underwater which are entwined around aquatic plants. Tadpoles hatch in about 12 days (that makes it August 27 for this batch) and metamorphose after a further 70-90 days, the young then leave the water. They grow slowly becoming adult in about five years, with a life span of up to 40 years.

I think the tad poles love lotus seeds and roots, so this may be bad news for my lotus. If they eat my lotus, they will have to deal with an eviction from me.

A Toad's Life

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