This apparently gruesome scene was spotted by David and Avril Haines in a roadside pond at Culkein Drumbeg (NC1033) on 14th April 2015. It appears to show Common Frog tadpoles feeding on a dead Palmate Newt, but it is not what it seems.
At this stage in their life, tadpoles are vegetarian, using seven series of horny ‘teeth’ around their beak-like mandibles to graze on green algae and other vegetable matter. Later, when their legs begin to develop, they become carnivorous.
So these tadpoles are actually just feeding on the filamentous algae which cover everything in such places, as the water warms up, including dead newts and any spawn that has failed to hatch. Later on, who knows?
D and A Haines/Ian Evans
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single female sunning herself on Little Assynt All-Abilities Path (DAH) (01/07)
Common Blue damselfly
20+ along one stretch of Little Assynt All-Abilities Path (DAH) (01/07)
Common Darter dragonfly
6+ along one stretch of Little Assynt All-Abilities Path (DAH) (01/07)
16+ animals off Raffin (DAH/Charlotte Newell) (29/06)
two pale morph birds off Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (29/06)
single adult bird, Loch na Bruthaich (DAH). This is a non-breeding loch for this species so it will have flown here from its breeding loch for a bit of RnR! (29/06)
Six-Spot Burnett moth
two in old quarry near Little Assynt (Cheryl Smith) (28/06)