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When do tadpoles (polliwogs) start to appear in the creeks of Santa Barbara? When are the most polliwogs found?
Question Date: 2001-05-29
Answer 1:

Most tadpoles (polliwogs) appear in the Santa Barbara coastal streams during the spring season. The exact time depends on water availability and water temperature but greatest abundance is usually found in late spring or early summer. Breeding behavior in frogs and toads is triggered by an increase in the number of hours of daylight as spring approaches. Frogs and toads lay their eggs in calm backwaters in the stream and the eggs incubate for several days to weeks. Small tadpoles will hatch from the eggs and consume algae as a food source. Depending on the species of frog or toad, the larval stage (tadpole) can last several weeks to months before metamorphosis into the adult. Most tadpoles complete metapmorphosis throughout the summer and by fall have become functional adults. Hope this helps

Answer 2:

Tadpoles of various species of local frogs have different schedules.The most widespread species is the Pacific treefrog (Hyla regilla); these begin to breed in January, and will continue into August or September. Tadpoles are present in most ponds and some streams locally from late January through early October (though any individual tadpole requires only about 6 weeks to grow from hatching to metamorphosis). The other common frog locally is the much larger bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), an introduced species found in larger ponds. Bullfrogs lay eggs in June, and the tadpoles require a full year to reach metamorphosis.
Other local species avoid the coastal slope and built-up areas, but are locally common in the mountains, or on inland streams. Breeding seasons for these are: western toad (Bufo boreas)- January to March, tadpoles metamorphosing now; Arroyo toad (Bufo californicus) March-June, metamorphosis late May to mid July; Calif. treefrog (Hyla cadaverina) Feb-May, tadpoles March through July.
Thus, the largest numbers of tadpoles (all species combined) are to be found in April, May and early June.

Answer 3:

Most polliwogs or tadpoles in the local streams belong to the genus Hyla, the tree frogs. Most tadpoles hatch from eggs in May - early June, develop over the summer, and metamorphose into subadults and emerge from the streams in September. A few individuals may deviate a bit from this general pattern.

Answer 4:

I think polliwogs hatch out during rains, so in the winter here. That's when I often hear lots of frogs croaking. And in Virginia I used to see polliwogs filling puddles after summer rains, and it looked like lots of polliwogs died as the puddles dried up.

For raising polliwogs in class, I've had good luck ordering egg masses them from a school science supplier - I forget who, but Carolina Biological should be a possibiliy.

I used to let the egg mass hatch in a cereal bowl of water, then after a few days when the tadpoles were ready to be fed, I'd transfer them to little fish bowls in the classroom. One classroom had desks next to each other in rows across the classroom, and each row of desks had a fishbowl. They tended to die sometime after getting legs and before losing their tail - the water got murky; I've forgotten a lot of the details. But they grew lots while they lived, and I had at least one that became a frog. They're fascinating, as I remember, under a magnifying glass when they're tiny and their gills are feathery.

They were fun - Good luck!

ps - we had a neat old population explosion "poster' that showed 2 frogs on the front when folded, then you opened it to show 4 frogs, 8, 16, 32, 64, (they must have multiplied faster than 2-fold because the back of the poster was crowded with what looked like hundreds of frogs.

Answer 5:

Frog eggs hatch in the spring (enough water around, lots of sunshine so water temperature rises, and fresh water algae bloomed). They develop and metamorphose for about 2-3 months (temperature dependent) and the next mating take place in the late summer.

Lake Los Carneros, the fresh water wet lands (away from the beaches) around the airport and on campus by Central Stores are all good places to see them and listen to the music of mating later on.

Many of the creeks in the local water shed will also likely to be homes to grogs of various species. Even wet soil and moist back yard greenery may be a hiding place for Mom and Dad Frogs who will lay her eggs in the moist soil.

Enjoy hosting them, and be sure to be good, responsible hosts.

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