Monday, 24 March 2014

Confused as a Newt….

…..or should that be a Frog or a Toad.
I dont profess to be an expert in any field of Nature, I just enjoy observing and photographing it.
I have come to observing Nature later in life and through researching about what I photograph, consequently I do learn something about most things. 
I also learn a lot from others who are experts or have far more knowledge on such subjects in their fields than I.

On Wednesday 19th of March I posted about finding what I believed after research, were a few Common Toads in a pond which is located in a local woodland nature reserve. See: 

The book says that Toads are rough warty skinned amphibians, whereas Frogs are smooth skinned.
The book also says that Frog Spawn comes in big lumps and Toad spawn is single stringed and wraps around submerged plant stalks.

I returned to that pond today only to find what appeared to be Frog Spawn with quite a few of the same amphibians swimming around the spawn and generally doing what nature intended.

Google search result of Common Frog images

Google search result of Common Toad images

I'm still confused as a Newt.


  1. Hi roy. I would be confused too but you have given us a lot of info. And clarification. Theses photos are all great, very clear water to see the frogs.

  2. Super Roy !
    I like the penultimate :))
    Nice day my friend

  3. You're confused?...Now I'm confused!!
    You got me going this morning Roy..I've just spent the last two and a half hours searching through books and the internet looking at images and info on Frogs and Toads and I think I've managed to sort out the confusion...maybe?

    So, here's my, very much amateur, thoughts on your two posts...and I think you got it right!

    Going on the characteristics listed below...

    In post one (croak! croak!) I think you photographed Common Toads (bufo bufo)

    Eyes :- Yellow/Copper coloured with split iris (various images)

    Paratoid Glands :- Slanting bulges behind the eyes, used to produce bufotoxin the noxious substance used to deter predators. (images 2 & 3)

    Nuptial Pads :- Swellings on the first three digits of the front feet, used to grip the female during mating. (images 7 & 8)

    Rear Feet :- Long unwebbed toes. (images 7 & 8)

    In Post Two (Confused as a Newt) I think you've photographed Common Frogs (rana temporaria)

    Eyes :- Brown with horizontal pupils (various images)

    Paratoid Glands :- None.

    Nuptial pads :- only on first digit of front feet. (images 1 & 4)

    Spots :- In the shape of a chevron on back of neck (images 10 & 6(?))

    Chin colour :- White or Grey colour under chin..develops during mating season. (various images)

    Rear Feet :- Long webbed toes (various images)

    What I think has happened is that there are (were) both Frogs and Toads in the pool and the Frogs have got it together and produced their spawn first. It might be worth going back later and having a look to see if you can find some Toad spawn.

    Phew!!...time for a coffee (and some breakfast)... I hope this has helped and hasn't just caused more confusion?

    ps. Here's something to look at If you really want to hurt your brain...

    At the start of last month I saw and photographed some 'flowering' Moss and after trying to identify it decided that I needed to learn more about the subject of Moss and Lichen! Little did I know that it was going to be such an interesting and very involved subject. I still don't understand it, and my brain gets more confused every time I try!!...[;o)

    1. Thank you so much for this in-depth study Trevor and clearing up the confusion. The change of colouring depending on the light etc also didn't help. There is obviously more in that pond than I thought there was, next time I will check for the Alligators as well.{:))
      Yes on the subject of Moss, when you started off with "Flowering" Moss thats when my brain started to hurt. What a complex subject that is.
      It just goes to show if you look a little deeper into any aspect of Nature, you realise what a complex subject it all is.
      Thanks again.

  4. Yes you got it right!
    Rana temporaria here, no doubt!
    And making omelet!! LOL!
    It is great fun to observe what's going on in pools and peat bogs.
    The quality of the environment most be good if you can find different species of amphibians, especially newts.
    Great post, Roy!

    1. Thanks so much Noushka.
      Yes its quite unspoilt at that location and we do get Newts as well there.

  5. I'm glad that Trevor could shed some light; I enjoyed the photos very much too Roy

  6. Reminds me of when I was a kid and used to gather frog spawn and take it home to watch the eggs hatch into tadpoles and ultimately frogs of course.

  7. Hey Roy... I have know toads from frogs and there eggs since I was big enough to catch a frog!!
    Where was you brought up again ponds there???
    Ya I did realize you screwed up on your other post, but .... : ) lol!!

    Hey these are great shots!! They cracked me up laughing !!


    1. Thanks GG.
      I'm glad I made you laugh, due to my insignificance.
      I must try harder.{:))

  8. Great shots of the frogs Roy; and that water is so clear.

    Reminds me, I've a ton of frogspawn to move from my pond later, and take it to the local.

  9. All this talk of Frogs, Toads and great photos has me wanting to find some, have not seen any Frog spawn for years. Did you say what kind of environment you found them in ?

    1. Hi Amanda, they were found in a pond that is one of several patches of water, located in a large Woodland/Common Nature Reserve.

  10. Truly a wonderful blog. Beautifully clear and the spawn is good to see.
    Frogs are pretty sharp and clear and I enjoy here whatsoever fullest :-)

  11. Look at those cuties. lol. I have not seen a frog in "person" forever. They freak me out, but I love to watch them.


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