This, if you haven’t seen one before, is what I call a frog or toad ball. It is part of the mating practice of frogs and toads and happens every year in my pond. It’s the first such ball this year and it’s a small one and I think it’s a frog ball because so far there’s only frog spawn in the pond. As far as I can see there are only four males (they are the smaller ones) grabbing onto the one larger female – she’s the one whose arms are loose and outright. Essentially she’s in a relaxed position with the males all over her. I’ve seen toad balls in the past with more than ten males smothering one female.

Before I had a website, blog and digital SLR camera that shot video I kept a diary by hand to record the happenings in the garden. This was the drawing I made of a frog ball in 2008.


And I am not sure how relaxed the females really are. I have found dead females following this balling. The males must drown her in the process by mistake. It must also mean that there are far too many males per female because other mating videos I’ve seen show just one on one events.