SUSONO, Shizuoka -- In an extremely rare find, two golden tadpoles were recently discovered here, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.
The tadpoles, which are about 3 to 5 centimeters long, were found by 58-year-old company executive Mitsuhiro Iizuka in a paddy field close to his home. It is thought that they are rare "albino" tadpoles, which have mutated in a way that means they do not have any pigment.
Iizuka discovered the first tadpole on the morning of June 15, as it swam among hundreds of black tadpoles. Three days later, he went back to the paddy field and collected the tadpole with a ladle. The day after that, he returned to the site once again, thinking "Surely there aren't any others," but then came across the second golden tadpole.
According to Awashima Marine Park in the Shizuoka prefectural city of Numazu, which has the largest frog museum in Japan, the probability of a golden tadpole being born is 1 in 100,000. Commenting on the discovery, Iizuka said, "The paddy field (where the golden tadpoles were found) was handed down to me, but this is the first time something like this has happened. Maybe it's a lucky sign."