Frog Eggs and Toad Eggs

Spring seems to have finally arrived, and soon the pond will be full of little frogs. As it turns out, frog eggs and toad eggs are different, and far easier to tell apart than the tadpoles.

Toad eggs (left) and Frog Eggs (right), both from the pond, though the toad eggs are from a previous year.

Frog eggs typically form nice clumps. -this years batch are particularly muddy. Toad eggs, however, will generally be in strands. While the eggs will typically hatch within two weeks or so, it’s still possible to tell the difference in the next stage.

Tadpoles: The frog version will typically school. Eating eggs (or smaller tadpoles) is less common in frogs, and so there’s less reason to avoid the relatives. And, safety in numbers! After all, tadpoles are definitely small enough to be on the menu for dragonfly larvae.

Our local toad tadpoles seem to be far less inclined to form large schools. While not typically seen alone, they are generally doing their own thing and not associated with other tadpoles. Since toad tadpoles are willing to consume pretty much anything smaller than them (including younger tadpoles), this makes some sense.

Other than using behavioral clues, toad tadpoles are somewhat stockier than the frog tadpoles. It is, all things being equal, far easier to make the identification from the eggs.

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