Quantock Amphibians

Frogs

  • Frog

Frogs prefer to live in moist, sheltered places, not too far from water. In winter, they hibernate in mud in the bottom of ponds. In spring they go to ponds where they can be heard croaking to attract a mate. After mating, they lay eggs (spawn) which take two weeks to hatch into tadpoles and three months to grow into small frogs.

Frogs are agile, with very long back legs for leaping and swimming. Many creatures feed on frogs: crows, herons, ducks, herons, hedgehogs, rats, foxes, snakes and cats.

Toads

  • Toad

Toads have dry, warty skin, in shades of brown, yellow, red, or greeny-grey. They spend the daytime sheltering under logs, and come out in the evening to catch insects, worms and other small animals with their long sticky tongues. Toads walk around clumsily and are easy to catch, but they have special glands on their backs which make a bad tasting, smelly substance to put off predators! In winter they hibernate in dry places under logs or stones. In March or April they all wake up and make their way together to their breeding ponds. This is called toad migration and hundreds of toads might take part. After the toads have mated, the females lay hundreds of eggs (spawn) in deep water. They hatch into tadpoles, which develop into toads after about 3 months.

Newts

  • Newt

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Newts usually live on land, hiding during the day and feeding at night. In the winter they hibernate in cracks and under stones. The best time to see them is from February to June, because this is when they move to the water to breed. You might even find them in your garden pond! Around this time the male newt changes his appearance to attract the female. He is normally greenish brown, but in the mating season he has an orange belly, black spots and a striped head.