Six weeks ago my granddaughter Ella came to visit me at Digital Frog headquarters. Young kids love to visit our fish and frog pond – Ella is not quite four and was very interested in seeing the fish. With net in hand off to the pond we went, as the little kids have never managed to catch anything I didn’t worry about the net! Well Ella was quicker than most and with one scoop up came a small goldfish and a rather large tadpole.
My first thought was how late this tadpole was, it was late September already and we live in Canada!
We are a science loving family so of course we decided to take the new friends home and set up an aquarium to watch our tadpole develop. So home we went with Taddy the Tadpole and Mr. Bo-jangles the fish (yes Ella named them). I explained to Ella how Taddy would turn into a frog and that we could watch, on this note she pulled up her stool and stared into the tank and said okay I’m watching! I tried to explain how it would take longer than that for him to change.
The life cycle video in The Digital Frog ecology section gave Ella an idea of what would happen. I assumed in 5-6 weeks we would have a frog to care for.
We have been watching now for 6 weeks and there has been absolutely no change in Taddy. He swims around happily in the tank eating algae from the plants and hanging out with his fish friend. With all the environmental threats to frogs these days, we figured Taddy was a mutant tadpole who was going to stay a tadpole all his life (we only call him a boy out of habit not because we know how to sex a tadpole). I have since learnt a lot about tadpoles!
Research has shown me that tadpoles hatched late in the season will sometimes take until the following spring to metamorphosize, they like to eat cooked lettuce, and certain breeds of frogs can take 8-9 months to make the transition to frog. I have started tracking Taddy’s size to see if he is in fact making any changes Taddy is 7.5 cm long and 1.75 cm wide at his widest spot. He seems healthy and happy and boy can he dart away fast when trying to catch him for tank cleaning.
Please give me tips on successful tadpole raising if you have any and i will keep the fans of Taddy the Tadpole informed of his progress (or lack of) . Ella and I would love to know from anyone who knows about frogs what kind of frog he will become if that can be identified from looking at him as a tadpole.