Friday, August 19, 2011

Western leopard toad

Last week-end Caleb and I went on a Junior Rangers Camp at the Silvermine reserve. The leaders had felt that the Junior Rangers had worked hard all year and deserved a nice week-end out. Hannah and Sheth joined us in the day but went to sleep at granny's house at night with Greg, their dad.

We arrived at the camp late on Friday evening in the pouring rain. It was dark and cold. Supper was being served so Caleb ate straight away. It was a brown soup - vegetarian. The meals for the week-end were terrible! It was white rolls with all the meals. For lunch each day it was a white roll with margarine. Yuk! ...and palony! Double yuk! There was no lettuce or tomato to go with the rolls, or any other vegetables for that matter. It can not get worse than that. Breakfast was Cornflakes or Nutrifix. Caleb enjoys Cornflakes as we never have it at home. What I have learnt is that I will have to provide food for Caleb on the next camp.

This is a River Click Frog
found on one of the hikes
The rest of the camp was great! We did two fairly long walks, and one serious hike! We did an evening walk which Greg joined us on. We walked to the Clovelly Golf Club. This is where we were hoping to see the migrating Western Leopard Toad. Well we did! We found the males in the ponds and found two females walking across the greens of the golf course. We also sat and listened to their calls. It was fantastic. I think Caleb and Sheth enjoyed it more than anyone else. This comes from the fact that kids between 14 and 17 are more interested in the opposite sex of the human race than in the mating of the Western Leopard Toad.

Facts about the Western Leopard Toad:
  • Their name is Western Leopard Toad or August Toad
  • They move in the rain
  • They move up to 5 km
  • They are nocturnal so move at night
  • They move on a waxing moon
  • The male has a darker throat than the female
  • The female's throat is almost a lemon colour
  • The male is smaller than the female
  • If the female toad has a predominantly triangular shape, then she still has eggs in her
  • She has 1000 to 2000 eggs in her
  • The male toad jumps on the female's back and gets into the Amplexus position. He has nuptual pads on his hand that help him hold on to her
  • If a female gets into the water without a male on her back she will be marked and drowned
  • The female lays strings of eggs which are black. The male then puts sperm over the eggs to fertilise them
  • Their eggs take about 2 weeks to turn into tadpoles
  • It takes about 3 to 4 months to grow into a toadlets
  • Baby toads are called toadlets
  • The toads burrow into the ground, to sleep during the day. They share their burrows with other toads
  • Toads walk and hop
  • Frogs can only hop
  • Every Western Leopard Toad has its own special pattern on its back
  • The Clovelly Golf Club has Koi fish in their ponds. These Koi fish are eating the Toads eggs, tadpoles and toadlets
  • The Western Leopard Toad is an endangered species
For more information on the Western Leopard Tod go to or

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