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Pond life

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: Wildlife Gardening
Forum Description: For discussion about wildlife (especially amphibian and reptile) gardening
URL: http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5310
Printed Date: 04 Aug 2020 at 2:57pm
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Topic: Pond life
Posted By: Suzy
Subject: Pond life
Date Posted: 26 Nov 2019 at 11:58am
I did a scoop out of dead leaves and duckweed from my new small pond this morning. I put everything into a a large container with a bit of pond water in. I then shook all the leaf and duckweed tangle to get wildlife to fall into the container. I then put this clump beside the pond for any scuttling back to the water. I had a fair idea of what might be in the pond, but was surprised at the number of leeches. I knew they were there, but not how many.
I found two large tadpoles that have got the start of back legs. I figure I can also see water slaters and damselfly larvae. There were a lot of small ramshorn snails, which do well in my ponds. 
I tipped all the contents of the container back into the pond once photographed.
If anyone can ID anything else I would be pleased to know.








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Suz



Replies:
Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 26 Nov 2019 at 12:36pm
will the tadpoles continue to develop or will it stop until Spring, to give them a head start then?

My pond is heaving with leeches and I often wonder what they feed on, I have no fish in my pond but loads of frogs, I have never seen a frog with a leech on it though. I guess these aren't the traditional blood-sucking type?


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 26 Nov 2019 at 12:43pm
I guess Chubsta that the tadpoles will just tick over until spring and then when things warm up they will feed more and develop to maturity. I suspect that there are more in the pond, although I saw dozens of froglets leave the pond. 
I have seen frogs with leeches hanging off them like thick hair (gruesome). It doesn't seem to mean instant death though as I've seen the same frogs carrying round the leeches all summer. Even seen the frogs out of the pond with them attached. Never seen a newt with a leech.


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Suz


Posted By: S10 WRM
Date Posted: 29 Nov 2019 at 6:57pm
The majority of freshwater leeches feed on plants


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 20 Dec 2019 at 12:08pm
Originally posted by chubsta chubsta wrote:

will the tadpoles continue to develop or will it stop until Spring, to give them a head start then?

My pond is heaving with leeches and I often wonder what they feed on, I have no fish in my pond but loads of frogs, I have never seen a frog with a leech on it though. I guess these aren't the traditional blood-sucking type?


Hi Chubsta (and everyone)

Your first query overlaps with Lalchitri's recent post elsewhere on the 'Frogs Spawn' thread. Have a look here:

http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/topic5199_post40942.html#40942" rel="nofollow - http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/topic5199_post40942.html#40942


Regarding leeches, S10 WRM is right of course, the blood-sucking species that occur in the UK (eg the 'medicinal leech') are far larger and less likely to occur in garden ponds.
I believe they're also quite rare nowadays owing to past overexploitation ('leechmania').


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 22 Dec 2019 at 12:37pm
Suzy, sorry forgot to mention, regarding your I’d query, I’m not 100% sure but I think I can possibly see a couple of Turbellaria aka flatworm in your pics. They are little black things that resemble flattened slugs. Possibly Planaria sp though I freely admit that invertebrates aren’t really my thing. If reading, perhaps Will or someone else can clarify.

Fairly confident at least one of your water slaters is Asellus aquaticus as you can see the two spots on it’s head that distinguishes it from other species.



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