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Toads spawning by the sea.

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Common Toad
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Bufo bufo
URL: http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4911
Printed Date: 27 Oct 2020 at 12:22pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Toads spawning by the sea.
Posted By: superdart
Subject: Toads spawning by the sea.
Date Posted: 12 Apr 2015 at 9:43pm
We were on a walk from Woolacombe to Lee along the cliff path and as we dropped down into a valley about 1 mile from Lee we had to cross over a small foot bridge that straddled a small stream.This stream fed into the sea via a few rock pools and there were strings of toad spawn and 2 breeders still in there no more than 10 yards from the sea.



Replies:
Posted By: will
Date Posted: 13 Apr 2015 at 8:27am
interesting record - almost natterjack-like! would be very interesting to see what happens to the taddies.


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 01 May 2015 at 5:26pm
Hi Superdart and Will.

Funnily enough i saw similar in Pembrokeshire last week. 3 tiny and almost completely lifeless, rain-filled rock pools only 6 m or so from the deep blue and within a metre or teo of one another. Yet they were situated right next to a much larger pool with considerable algal bloom - ignored by the toads!

Each pool had larvae at a different stage of development. I took a tape measure from my pocket.
The largest was 70 cm x 25 at its widest point and 12 cm deep at its deepest. There were around 150 free swimming tads in it.
The second and smallest, was 60 x 15 at its widest. 12 cm at its deepest point but shallower for most of its length. It housed around 40 larvae just reaching free swimming stage.
The last had spawn with tadpoles still feeding on the jelly and was around 50 x 50, and only 5 cm deep.

A few pics of the rock pools and the larvae:

The view standing next to the pool nearest the sea:

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/024_zpsy2oe51mc.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

At my feet, the pool nearest the sea (the largest 1):

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/025_zpsqxhakiqm.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/026_zpsmjdwgfkx.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/022_zps6mbgejig.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/067_zpsstcfspkf.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

The smallest pool:

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/925a8b1a-f4d2-4e7a-ba2b-472985d885fc_zpshob53iuq.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">


http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/027_zpsdeaxolwr.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/066_zpsopacddxh.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/018_zpsraimoti6.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

And the 'pond' with the less developed larvae:

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/029_zpsndlqhkbq.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

http://s935.photobucket.com/user/benrigsby/media/030_zpss5abbtds.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">

I've only ever seen Natterjack adults and that was in France. I've never seen the tadpoles. So i later wondered if these might be a reintro project, but i couldn't find anything about such a venture in this area.

However, i don't get to the seaside very often so for all i know this seemingly unusual (to me) sight might be a regular occurrence for Common Toad!





Posted By: will
Date Posted: 02 May 2015 at 9:12am
Hi Ben

that's a top observation.  Really makes me wonder if superdart and you have stumbled onto something more widespread than the literature would have us think.  I'm sure they're 'ordinary' toads rather than natterjack given the location, but their choice of their spawning site makes them extraordinary in my book.  Perhaps some kind of note and an appeal for more observations in the BHS Bulletin or on ARG-UK website would 'spawn' more records?  were there any more typical toad-breeding sites close to the rockpools, such as a pond or lake behind the beach?


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 02 May 2015 at 10:06am
Hi Will,

Yes, driving down the lane i briefly glimpsed a fairly large pond nestled in the valley and adjacent to a patch of woodland and some buildings. It certainly looked good for toads from that point of view but it was on private land and much too far from the road to tell if it was a healthy pond or just a slurry lagoon.

It was about 1 km inland from the rock pools.     


Posted By: superdart
Date Posted: 02 May 2015 at 10:41am
Just to add that these toads have been spawning in the same pools for at least 12 years, as group of us, family and friends meet up and stay at The Royal Hotel every Easter WE and we do the same walk from Wooly to Lee every year and if Easter is late enough the toads or the taddys are there.There is also a small 1" - 3" deep x 2' wide stream at the back of the Royal car park that has taddys in it as well,also depending on the time of year.


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 02 May 2015 at 5:42pm
thanks for the extra info guys!  really interesting stuff, especially that there is a 12 year minimum history of this at one site at least.


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 02 May 2015 at 11:30pm
Do you think the pools would get a dose of seawater if the sea was rough? 

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Suz


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 03 May 2015 at 9:25am
exactly Suz - it seems such a high risk strategy.  Natterjacks use coastal sites that get a winter innundation of salt water, which kills many of their tadpole predators and makes it a better place to spawn come the spring.  I'm surprised that a species with high 'natal fidelity' ie spawning in the same water body for generations like the common toad would have elected to spawn in a 'marginal' (in two senses) site like a rock pool.  Bufo bufo spawn and tadpoles are not especially tolerant of saline water - nor are those of the natterjack, for that matter.


Posted By: AGILIS
Date Posted: 03 May 2015 at 9:30am
I would have been inclined to remove some and put elswhere keith

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   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID


Posted By: superdart
Date Posted: 03 May 2015 at 11:24pm
Originally posted by Suzy Suzy wrote:

Do you think the pools would get a dose of seawater if the sea was rough? 

They would certainly get a dose of salt water quite regularly especially at high tide but the fresh water stream that feeds the pools should soon dilute any in a very short time.


Posted By: AGILIS
Date Posted: 04 May 2015 at 5:09am
Any thought given to that this may be a new discovered marine toad

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   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 04 May 2015 at 11:18am
Originally posted by superdart superdart wrote:

Originally posted by Suzy Suzy wrote:

Do you think the pools would get a dose of seawater if the sea was rough? 

They would certainly get a dose of salt water quite regularly especially at high tide but the fresh water stream that feeds the pools should soon dilute any in a very short time.


Same goes for my sighting i would say - on both points. Just like Superdart's location, there was a source of fresh water close by, although it was no more than a tiniest of trickles.

Hi Keith.

I did feel that if the long, dry spell continued, the tadpoles, in their rapidly diminishing breeding 'ponds', were probably doomed. However, i couldn't have moved them even if i wanted to because i didn't have the means: eg no net, no identified, suitable receptor site in mind and no time to do it either.
Plus there's the risk of potentially spreading infectious disease elsewhere.


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 04 May 2015 at 6:41pm
....and also you'd be disturbing a fascinating bit of science and confusing the heck out of their natal instincts!LOL


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 05 May 2015 at 8:57am
I found this paragraph on the website of the Natural History Society of Northumbria

"Toads and their tadpoles are also able to tolerate slightly brackish water where other amphibians cannot. They can be found in sand dune pools and other ponds that receive sea spray, such as cliff top ponds, salt marshes and where freshwater streams reach the sea, such as at Castle Eden Dene mouth."

http://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/news/cms/common-toad/

Perhaps someone from there can comment?


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Suz


Posted By: Caleb
Date Posted: 05 May 2015 at 10:52am
I've seen common toad tadpoles on the seaward side of the dunes at Castle Eden Dene and Hawthorn Dene. This is still a fair way from the sea, as the beach is very wide.

I thought that both had probably been washed there from further upstream (mainly because the waterbodies were very small and shallow) rather than having been spawned on the beach. 

Further north in Northumberland, common toads live on the beach at Hauxley, though they spawn in big lakes on the landward side of the dunes. These have been shown on TV feeding from the strandline just like natterjacks do (I can't remember the name of the programme, but it was presented by Bill Oddie). 


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 05 May 2015 at 12:18pm
yes, I remember that - they were feasting on sandhoppers I think, but I can't remember the name of the programme either!


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 05 May 2015 at 1:24pm
Was it this prog?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p007zch1


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Suz


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 05 May 2015 at 2:19pm
that's exactly the one I had in mind when Caleb mentioned it - thanks Suz - common toads plus sandhoppers, the former looking as if they are in a natterjack-copying contest!


Posted By: Caleb
Date Posted: 05 May 2015 at 6:45pm
Yes, that's the one I was thinking of. 


Posted By: AGILIS
Date Posted: 07 May 2015 at 9:06pm
Plenty of frogpoles that live round a sewage outlet locally in Sudbury keith

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   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID



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