My social media feeds have been full of the frog spawn people have been finding in ponds all over these isles but it wasn’t till last Thursday, while up the Welsh valleys on a wildlife recorders course, that I was in frog-full countryside. And as we meandered along a track in the Cwn Saerbren SSSI at Treherbert, searching for biology to record, what should we find but two Common frogs (Rana temporaria) enjoying a tender moment together. I hadn’t seen a Common frog before so, though it seemed a tad voyeuristic, I took rather a lot of photos.
At this time of year, the males celebrate the joys of spring with a croaking fiesta to attract the females. The male with the loudest croak wins the contest, and gets to climb on the female’s back, grasping her under her forelegs with the special nuptial pads on his front legs. The pair stay attached like this until the female lays her 1000 – 2000 eggs, over which the male sprays his sperm to fertilise them. We left our couple to continue the process but did collect a small sample of frog spawn elsewhere, for scientific examination. The rest, as they say, is tadpoles!