Tonight I found this tiny tadpole in my dam in Parkerville. You might not think there is anything unusual about finding a tadpole in a dam... but this one is a bit more special that the rest...
One thing you can see is that this tadpole has golden stripes... and no, that doesn’t mean it’s worth alot! It tells us that it is a baby Moaning Frog (Heleioporus eyrei), as gold stripes are a diagnostic feature of this species. It also makes sense that it’s one of the burrowing frogs, a group that finished breeding earlier in the year, because other frog species (like the Crinias) have only just begun calling, so it’s a bit early for their tadpoles to be sighted. If you read this story, you’ll know that Moaners lay their eggs in foam nest, deep in a burrow underground. So the exciting conclusion is that the tadpole pictured above originated from a dark burrow beneath the surface!
I spotted several Moaner tadpoles in the shallows of the dam tonight, all of which were very small (only about 10 mm long). now they are in a much more thriving waterbody that their dark burrow, these tadpoles will forage on various water plants and grow rapidly towards metamorphosis.
Another example of our wonderful world of nature holding more than meets the eye!