Tadpole is the name given to the larvae of the batrachians, especially of the frogs. At this stage of development, the specimens do not have legs, they have a long tail and breathe through gills, living in the aquatic environment permanently.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore that it is considered that tadpoles can be divided into four groups:
-Type I, which are common in the Pipidae family and are characterized by the fact that their lips do not have denticles.
-Type II, which are part of the Microhylidae family. They have a single central blowhole and their mouths are extremely complex.
-Type III, characterized by the fact that they appear in the Archaeobatrachia family. Like the previous ones, they have a blowhole and also beaks and denticles appear in their mouths.
-Type IV. This class of tadpoles can be found in the Ranidae, Hylidae, and Bufonidae families. They include a blowhole in the left area and their mouths have both denticles and beaks.
Tadpoles can swim easily thanks to their tails. In general, when they are born, they have external gills, which later become internal as they remain inside a sac that develops with the passage of the weather. Upon reaching maturity, the tadpole begins to experience a metamorphosis which results in the absorption of its tail and the growth of its legs.
This metamorphosis supposes a change of state: the animal ceases to be a larva and becomes an adult specimen. In other words: before metamorphosis it is a tadpole and then a frog (or another type of batrachian).
In addition to the loss of the tail and the growth of the legs, metamorphosis involves the development of various muscles, the enlargement of the lungs, the appearance of the eyelids, the replacement of the cartilaginous skull by a bony skull and the shortening of the intestine, among other changes.
Although the tadpole is herbivorous, the modifications caused by the metamorphosis make the frog become omnivorous and also feed on insects, worms and even other tadpoles.
Other interesting facts about the tadpoles of frogs are the following:
-They have the ability to stay in water for up to three months.
-In the first days of life, it is possible that they do not eat anything from the outside but make use of the “reserves” that they have inside.
-It is important that until their legs come out they do not get out of the water since if they do they could die.
-When you have tadpoles in aquariums and these, within their metamorphosis, become omnivores, it is recommended that they be fed with flies, earthworms, fish food, larvae, aphids or you can even choose to resort to giving them vegetables that previously it has been boiled. On the other hand, if it is tadpoles in freedom, it is usual that at that moment they take phytoplankton or debris.
The notion of tadpole is also used to refer to affectively a young child or, in contemptuous sense, to a person that is unpleasant or harmful. For instance: “I was just a tadpole when I first saw Don Luis”, “I forbid that tadpole to step on our house again”.