Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Slime mould or frog spawn?

In February 2011, we posted a photograph like the one here and debated whether it was a slime mould or some abandoned frog spawn. Three patches like the one shown here were a few feet apart on a path through a field at Foreland a couple of days ago. A close look shows not just the patches of white jelly but also clumps of tiny black spheres. Had this been early spring, I would have again suggested frog spawn from a frog that had come to grief or had, for some reason, had to lay its spawn out of water. But this is October and so not frog spawning time. For once, the internet doesn't seem to be a lot of help with some saying this kind of thing, including with the tiny black spheres, is a slime mould, called star rot, and others saying, regardless of date, that it is frog spawn. What does anyone think?


  1. Hi Malcolm, I found some of this last week, along with the eggs which to me are exactly the same size as frogspawn. Also amongst it was what I believe to be a frogs stomach. I have photos. I found something online that said female frogs carry spawn from autumn. My theory is that herons shake or squeeze this from them to prevent it swelling inside them.

    Interesting that there is still some mystery's out there!


  2. I agree that it most closely resembles frogspawn and yes it is highly likely that any predator (and otter is an important one on Islay) would discard the jelly, but I can't find any reference in my books dealing with amphibians that frogs can carry eggs in the autumn. I will keep looking.
    Thanks for the comment

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