Late spring or early summer is a good time to be on the lookout for tadpoles! You might spot common frog or common toad tadpoles or, if you are lucky and on the coast, you might even spot natterjack toad tadpoles!
You might have spotted a few tadpoles already as frogs can lay their frogspawn as early as January and it can take two to four weeks for tadpoles to hatch out. As the tadpoles grow, they become faintly speckled with gold/brown and will slowly grow back and front legs!
Common toads breed a little later than common frogs, laying double strings of spawn and wrapping it carefully around vegetation. Again, it will take two to four weeks for the tadpoles to hatch out. To tell the difference between frog and toad tadpoles, you simply have to look at their colour. Toad tadpoles remain jet black and can also form shoals so can be easier to spot.
The natterjack toad is confined to just a handful of sites on the coast in the UK and is only found on the Solway Coast in Scotland. Breeding for natterjack toads takes place in March/April but can continue into the early summer. So, depending on the natterjacks in your area, you may see males waiting by the pond edge (making loud rasping noises to attract the females), natterjack toad spawn or even some tadpoles! Natterjack toad spawn is laid in single strings with their tadpoles being smaller than common toad tadpoles and sporting a grey spot on their throat.
Always remember to record your amphibian and reptile sightings on our FREE Dragon Finder app. All of the data collected is sent to the National Biodiversity Network Atlas. You can download the app here.