Toad mating season


DeepWater

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The recent warm spells brought us many nights of all night toad singing. The first day we found evidence of successful mating was Sunday April 16. This was one of the larger females I've seen in the pond. She had a great color pattern that made her very distinguished. She had 2 strands of eggs coming out of her at one time. A week later all these eggs turned into the little tiny first tadpoles!

Sadly though, a few days after seeing her eggs, we discovered her in the bottom of the pond, dead. There were a total of 5 toads dead on the bottom! It was as if they swam down deep to lay there to rest, but then never came back up. No fish are dead, the 1 frog is still alive, and there are still around a dozen toads - so what happened? Googling "toads dead in pond after mating" brought up some previous discussions about this same thing happening. Seems all the horny males can beat each other up and can be too rough on the female. I wonder if that's what it was.
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And then another warm spell came, mid 70s 3 days in a row, and several more days and nights of multiple toads calling out, all together. Must be over 100 decibels it's so loud.10 days after the first round, on April 26, we found more evidence of success! I'd guess there are well over 100 feet of egg strands. No more dead toads discovered. We're stuck in a cold spell now, temps in the 30s and 40s, so it'll be a while until we hear and see more action.
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addy1

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I didn't have the load of toads we usually have, just a few dropped eggs and most have become tads already.
 

JBtheExplorer

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Sadly though, a few days after seeing her eggs, we discovered her in the bottom of the pond, dead. There were a total of 5 toads dead on the bottom! It was as if they swam down deep to lay there to rest, but then never came back up. No fish are dead, the 1 frog is still alive, and there are still around a dozen toads - so what happened?

What are the edges of your pond like? Is it difficult for them to get out? Toads don't jump out like frogs do. They have to crawl out, so if there isn't easy access for them to get out, I could certainly see them drowning. I can't see any other reason why they'd die.
 

DeepWater

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The entire edge is rocked with round boulders and egg rocked of mixed size. They have no trouble at all moving anywhere they want. There are no slippery slopes. There are no pesticides in use in our yard, and no chemicals added to the water, it's pretty much all rainwater and snowmelt filled by now, any original city water has likely overflowed/cycled out.
 

addy1

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I find a dead one now and then, I think the female gets worn out and just does not make it to safety.
 

cas

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Interesting. Never had that happen to my toads. One spring we had an unexpected freeze and I had to remove a dozen huge dead frogs from the pond and skimmer. Did your temps dip quickly when you noticed your dead toads?
 
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addy1

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Interesting. Never had that happen to my toads. One spring we had an unexpected freeze and I had to remove a dozen huge dead frogs from the pond and skimmer. Did your temps dip quickly when you noticed your dead toads?
ME? no just a dead female now and then. After winter I do find a few dead frogs, mainly in the small fishless ponds.
 
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I saw that a male was so heavy that the female couldn't keep her head above the water. I puled them out with the skimmer and they lived happily ever after. The tadpoles were not as lucky the fish ate every last one of them.
 
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One spring we had an unexpected freeze and I had to remove a dozen huge dead frogs from the pond and skimmer

We find one or two dead frogs every year, always in the spring after it's been warm early and then gets cold again. I think they just aren't the brightest ones in the pond and don't realize it's too cold to be out and about!
 
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The entire edge is rocked with round boulders and egg rocked of mixed size. They have no trouble at all moving anywhere they want. There are no slippery slopes. There are no pesticides in use in our yard, and no chemicals added to the water, it's pretty much all rainwater and snowmelt filled by now, any original city water has likely overflowed/cycled out.
I found five in my pre-filter to my pump last week after a mating season
 

DeepWater

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Interesting. Never had that happen to my toads. One spring we had an unexpected freeze and I had to remove a dozen huge dead frogs from the pond and skimmer. Did your temps dip quickly when you noticed your dead toads?

I wondered if the cool spell had anything to do with this. The high temp was in the 70s for the several days of mating, then took a tip where it seemed to average in the 40s for a few more days. Nothing near freezing. To me, this doesn't look like dangerous levels - but what do I know, I'm not cold blooded. Eggs discovered April 16. Dead toads I think were seen on the 20 or 21st. They were puffy so had been dead down there a couple days, which places the death before the prolonged coolness set in. As she mated on the 16th, and had a couple more days of near 70 temps, I'm guessing she and several other toads were just beat up so bad they had internal injuries and couldn't recover.

This is air temp, not water temp - I don't have a water temp probe yet. It is from my new weather station, reporting the data to wunderground, where I can go on there and chart the history/
2017-4-15 - 2017-4-21 temp plot.jpg
 
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DeepWater

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FWIW, there have been no more dead toads. Both the first and second batch of tadpoles have hatched, and there are thousands of little squigglers all over the place. Toads are still singing on warm nights.
 

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