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Do tadpoles need daylight

This is a discussion on Do tadpoles need daylight within the General Discussion and Identification forums, part of the Anura: Frogs & Toads category; Hi - I am more usually on the axolotl's area....... I work at a school, & we have had a ...

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Old 14th June 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do tadpoles need daylight

Hi - I am more usually on the axolotl's area.......

I work at a school, & we have had a tank of 'ordinary' British frog tadpoles in the Biology Department corridor for a couple of months now - the spawn came from my pond. Although they grew fast early on, because they are inside a warm building, now they have sort of 'stopped'. They have pond weed in the tank & a daily supply of lettuce leaves, which they seem to like.

So far they have no legs & are generally smaller than wild ones.

Can anyone cast any light (!) on whether the cause of this is the complete lack of natural daylight? They only have corridor strip lights turned on daily (but not at weekends).

I have taken many back home as they grew initially, & will take these this week, but we (dapartment teachers & me the technician) are interested to know the actuall cause of this apparent problem.

Many thanks,

Heather
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Old 14th June 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do tadpoles need daylight

I seriously doubt it has something to do with the light, since ive seen healthy tadpoles of Rana temporaria (im assuming you meant this species?) in very shady, very dark places.

The problem might be diet related.

One thing i thought id comment...im not sure its legal to catch Rana temporaria in the UK, did you check?
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Old 14th June 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do tadpoles need daylight

Thanks for that - wrt legal status: "Protected in Britain under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), with respect to sale only", so I think collecting taddies is still fine. The only 'seriously' protected species here is the wonderful Great Crested Newt, but thanks for caring!

I still wonder if 'deep shade' is better than 'nil daylight'? I await other comments with interest.

Thanks again for reply,

Heather
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Old 14th June 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do tadpoles need daylight

Shade would be better than darkness.
Lettuce has little to no nutritional value at all and while it can be helpful in rehydrating reptiles it is useless as a food souce. Maybe spirulina would be better.
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Old 14th June 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do tadpoles need daylight

My thinking is along the same line as Azhael and Mac. It's possible that they have some need for a light/dark cycle, but I would bet the difference in size is due to diet. Outdoors, they have a much wider variety of foods available to graze on. Compared to lettuce, natural algae are probably much richer in vitamins and other nutrients.
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Old 14th June 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Do tadpoles need daylight

I would suggest spinach. That is what I have used with tadpoles with keratinized mouth parts in the past and it has worked wonderfully to produce nice round tadpoles. You should boil the spinach to make it a little softer, and then you can just break it up into little pieces and toss it in. You can also boil the spinach and then freeze it in small chunks that can then be thrown in for a kind of slow-feeding system. Good luck! Take pictures!
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