Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's Tadpole Season

Several weeks ago I finally got my hands on a QX3 digital microscope. It's a hard thing to buy in Canada but thankfully, someone local had one listed on Kijiji and after years of lust, I picked it up.

So what to do? Get a good look at the brine shrimp for one.

Now that the tadpoles are out we had to examine them as well. We scooped a bunch of eggs out of the ditch in front of our property and deposited them in an aquarium. Then we took out a couple and examined them before returning them to the water.
Now there are two local amphibians that are laying eggs right now, Wood Frogs and Spotted Salamanders. Since frog tadpoles don't have external gills, we're guessing we have the salamander tadpoles. Both kids did some drawings and took notes on their observations. We later looked up egg identification, went back to the ditch and realized that most, if not all, the eggs were salamander eggs.

This was an especially nifty discovery because just a week before, while doing some spring cleaning in the yard, we found a Spotted Salamander under a bit of debris. I previously mentioned the find here.
In a month or two we should have Leopard Frog and Green Frog eggs from our pond but in the meantime we'll enjoy watching the salamanders develop.

Activities: Observation, drawing, setting up aquarium.

Resources: How to Hatch Frog Eggs at eHow
                 Egg Mass ID at Field Herp Forum

No comments: