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Overview

Brief Summary

The European common frog is wide-spread throughout Europe. European common frogs grow up to 10 centimeters and can vary in color and spottiness. These frogs live most of their life on land as long as it is a damp environment. During mating season in the winter, they live in open water.
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Biology

Common frogs hibernate through the winter, either at the bottom of ponds (breathing through their skin) or on land under refuges such as compost heaps (5). During the rest of the year they hunt on land on damp nights; they feed on snails, slugs, worms and a range of insects (5). In spring, males arrive at breeding areas before females, and it is thought that individuals return to their natal ponds by following scents (5). There is typically heavy competition amongst males for females, involving much croaking and wrestling. Males grab a female and remain clasped to her body for days or weeks before spawning takes place. All of the frogs in a pond tend to spawn roughly within a few days of each other. The female releases 1000 to 2000 eggs, the male then releases sperm. The eggs are coated in jelly, and are popularly known as 'frogspawn'. After 10-14 days, the tadpoles hatch, becoming free-swimming a few days later, and undergoing metamorphosis into adults 10-15 weeks after hatching. Tadpoles are vulnerable to predation by a range of aquatic creatures, including water beetles, newts and fish (5).
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Description

Undoubtedly Britain's most well-known amphibian, the common frog is often found in garden ponds (2). They are typically brown or greyish in colour, but some individuals may be yellow or reddish. The flanks are usually yellow, the underside white, and the upper surfaces feature variable blackish markings (5). The large hind legs feature webbed feet; they power strong jumps and an excellent swimming ability, and are covered with dark bands, which provide camouflage (5). Males tend, on average, to be slightly smaller than females, and they can be identified by whitish swellings on the inner digits of the front feet, which support dark pads during the breeding season that allow the male to effectively grasp a female (5).
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Comprehensive Description

Description

Vomerine teeth present. Posterior part of the tongue free and forked. Toes webbed. Omosternum and sternum ossified. Pupil of the eye horizontal. Body chunky (corpulent); snout rounded. Male with internal vocal sacs. Shin shorter than body by 1.76-2.0 times. When the shins are positioned perpendicularly to the body axis, the heels overlap. When the hind leg is stretched along the body, the tibio-tarsal articulation commonly reaches the eye. Inner metatarsal tubercle shorter than the 1st toe by 2.2-4.4 times. Dorsal coloration grey-brown, brown, olive-brown, olive, grey, yellowish or rufous. Chevron-shaped (^) dark glandular spot on the neck. Small dark spots on the dorsal and lateral surfaces. Temporal spot large. Light middorsal band usually absent. If present, this band is unclear and does not reach the middle part of the head. Flank and thigh skin often granular. Belly and hind legs white from below, yellowish or greyish with blotched-like pattern formed by brown, brownish-grey or almost black spots. Male differs from female by having nuptial pads on the first finger, paired vocal sacs and, during the breeding season, a bluish throat. During the breeding season, the male is light and greyish, whereas the female is more brownish or even rufous.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Description

Vomerine teeth present. Posterior part of the tongue free and forked. Toes webbed. Omosternum and sternum ossified. Pupil of the eye horizontal. Body chunky (corpulent); snout rounded. Male with internal vocal sacs. Shin shorter than body by 1.76-2.0 times. When the shins are positioned perpendicularly to the body axis, the heels overlap. When the hind leg is stretched along the body, the tibio-tarsal articulation commonly reaches the eye. Inner metatarsal tubercle shorter than the 1st toe by 2.2-4.4 times. Dorsal coloration grey-brown, brown, olive-brown, olive, grey, yellowish or rufous. Chevron-shaped (^) dark glandular spot on the neck. Small dark spots on the dorsal and lateral surfaces. Temporal spot large. Light middorsal band usually absent. If present, this band is unclear and does not reach the middle part of the head. Flank and thigh skin often granular. Belly and hind legs white from below, yellowish or greyish with blotched-like pattern formed by brown, brownish-grey or almost black spots. Male differs from female by having nuptial pads on the first finger, paired vocal sacs and, during the breeding season, a bluish throat. During the breeding season, the male is light and greyish, whereas the female is more brownish or even rufous.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Distribution

Range Description

It is widespread throughout most of Europe, ranging from northern Spain to the Urals (absent from southern and central Iberia, much of southern Italy [scattered Appenine populations] and the Caucasus), and eastwards to the western part of West Siberia and northern Kazakhstan through northern Greece and Bulgaria. It has a patchy distribution in the mountainous parts of the Balkans. Recorded from sea level to elevations approaching 2,700m asl (Pyrenees).
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Distribution and Habitat

The frog inhabits Europe from the Pyrenees to the Urals and West Siberia. The species inhabits almost all of western Europe except for Portugal, Central and Southern Spain and Italy, Greece (except for the most northeastern part), Southern Ukraine, and Southern European Russia. Southern margin of the range runs eastwards from Central Moldavia to the south of Ukraine (eastwards approximately along the line Odessa Province - Nikolaev Province - Kirovograd Province - Zaporozhie Province), then northeastwards approximately along the line: center of Dnepropetrovsk Province - Kharkov Province (Kharkov City, 50º00'N, 36º15'E), then in Russia: Byelgorod Province - south of Kursk Province. Then the margin runs eastwards to Voronezh Province, then northeastwards through Tambov Province to Penza and Ulyanovsk provinces, then southeastwards in Samara Province (Samara City: 53º12'N, 50º10'E) and Orenburg Province in the Southern Urals. From there, the frog penetrates Northwestern Kazakhstan (Uralsk Province, Dariinsk Settlement in the middle stretch of the Ural River: ca. 51º10'N, 51º40'E). From Orenburg Province of Russia, the margin rounds the Ural Mountains from the south and runs eastwards to northern Kazakhstan (Kustanai and Kokchetav provinces). At the southern limit of its range, the Common Frog is distributed unevenly and there is a tendency towards decline and extinction of some geographical populations and isolation of others.The northern range limit extends from the southern shore of the Barents Sea and the northern shore of the White Sea. In the Kola Peninsula, the margin corresponds to the Barents Sea coast from the Norwegian border to the area between Kharlovka and Voyatka rivers, then southwards to the northern coast of Kandalaksha Bay. Southeastwards, in Arkhangelsk Province, the margin corresponds to the coast of the White Sea, including the Kanin Peninsula. From the latter, it runs southeastwards and eastwards through Komi Republic in Russia, approximately along the line: lower Shapkina River in Ust-Tsilma District (ca. 67ºN, 53ºE) - Vorkuta City (67º29'N, 64º00'E), then to the Polar Urals, then southwards along the Ob River and the lower Irtysh River, then to Kurgan Province and Northern Kazakhstan (North-Kazakhstan Province, surroundings of Petropavlovsk City: 54º52'N, 69º09'E). It should be noted that the known localities of the Common Frog in West Siberia (east of Sverdlovsk and south of Tyumen provinces) are distributed quite sporadically, so the range margin is poorly known. At least some areas in the southeast of Sverdlovsk Province (adjacent to Tyumen Province) are inhabited by only one brown frog, the Moor Frog (Rana arvalis), and another brown frog, the Siberian Frog (Rana amurensis), is known eastwards. The eastern margin of the distribution of R. temporaria needs elucidation.

Rana temporaria inhabits lowland and mountain deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests, through which it penetrates tundra and the forest steppes. In the forest zone, it lives in quite diverse habitats: under forest cover, in glades, bushlands, dry and swampy meadows, swamps and different kinds of anthropogenic landscape (fields, gardens, parks, settlements, cities etc.). In general, in the forest zone, it inhabits quite different landscapes from dry and open areas to overmoistened, dense fir forests. In the northern and southern parts of its range, the frog tends to occur near ponds, lakes and rivers, spending more time in water, a habit typical for this species also in the forest zone in periods of droughts. At the northern limit of its distribution, R. temporaria lives in the forest and true tundras, usually on the shores of permanent lakes. At the southern limit of its range, the frog lives in insular forests in the forest and true steppes, riverside bushlands and plavni (dense riparian vegetation in southern arid regions). In these areas, the species lives only in very moist sites, particularly near the outcrops of ground waters, and behaves as a more hygrophilous species than sympatric R. arvalis. Reproduction and early development occur in the shallow (5-50 cm) waters of lakes, ponds, swamps, ditches, river- and stream pools and puddles with stagnant or semi-flowing water. Aquatic habitats are more diverse in the centre of the species range than on its periphery.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Distribution and Habitat

The frog inhabits Europe from the Pyrenees to the Urals and West Siberia. The species inhabits almost all of western Europe except for Portugal, Central and Southern Spain and Italy, Greece (except for the most northeastern part), Southern Ukraine, and Southern European Russia. Southern margin of the range runs eastwards from Central Moldavia to the south of Ukraine (eastwards approximately along the line Odessa Province - Nikolaev Province - Kirovograd Province - Zaporozhie Province), then northeastwards approximately along the line: center of Dnepropetrovsk Province - Kharkov Province (Kharkov City, 50º00'N, 36º15'E), then in Russia: Byelgorod Province - south of Kursk Province. Then the margin runs eastwards to Voronezh Province, then northeastwards through Tambov Province to Penza and Ulyanovsk provinces, then southeastwards in Samara Province (Samara City: 53º12'N, 50º10'E) and Orenburg Province in the Southern Urals. From there, the frog penetrates Northwestern Kazakhstan (Uralsk Province, Dariinsk Settlement in the middle stretch of the Ural River: ca. 51º10'N, 51º40'E). From Orenburg Province of Russia, the margin rounds the Ural Mountains from the south and runs eastwards to northern Kazakhstan (Kustanai and Kokchetav provinces). At the southern limit of its range, the Common Frog is distributed unevenly and there is a tendency towards decline and extinction of some geographical populations and isolation of others.The northern range limit extends from the southern shore of the Barents Sea and the northern shore of the White Sea. In the Kola Peninsula, the margin corresponds to the Barents Sea coast from the Norwegian border to the area between Kharlovka and Voyatka rivers, then southwards to the northern coast of Kandalaksha Bay. Southeastwards, in Arkhangelsk Province, the margin corresponds to the coast of the White Sea, including the Kanin Peninsula. From the latter, it runs southeastwards and eastwards through Komi Republic in Russia, approximately along the line: lower Shapkina River in Ust-Tsilma District (ca. 67ºN, 53ºE) - Vorkuta City (67º29'N, 64º00'E), then to the Polar Urals, then southwards along the Ob River and the lower Irtysh River, then to Kurgan Province and Northern Kazakhstan (North-Kazakhstan Province, surroundings of Petropavlovsk City: 54º52'N, 69º09'E). It should be noted that the known localities of the Common Frog in West Siberia (east of Sverdlovsk and south of Tyumen provinces) are distributed quite sporadically, so the range margin is poorly known. At least some areas in the southeast of Sverdlovsk Province (adjacent to Tyumen Province) are inhabited by only one brown frog, the Moor Frog (Rana arvalis), and another brown frog, the Siberian Frog (Rana amurensis), is known eastwards. The eastern margin of the distribution of R. temporaria needs elucidation.

Rana temporaria inhabits lowland and mountain deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests, through which it penetrates tundra and the forest steppes. In the forest zone, it lives in quite diverse habitats: under forest cover, in glades, bushlands, dry and swampy meadows, swamps and different kinds of anthropogenic landscape (fields, gardens, parks, settlements, cities etc.). In general, in the forest zone, it inhabits quite different landscapes from dry and open areas to overmoistened, dense fir forests. In the northern and southern parts of its range, the frog tends to occur near ponds, lakes and rivers, spending more time in water, a habit typical for this species also in the forest zone in periods of droughts. At the northern limit of its distribution, R. temporaria lives in the forest and true tundras, usually on the shores of permanent lakes. At the southern limit of its range, the frog lives in insular forests in the forest and true steppes, riverside bushlands and plavni (dense riparian vegetation in southern arid regions). In these areas, the species lives only in very moist sites, particularly near the outcrops of ground waters, and behaves as a more hygrophilous species than sympatric R. arvalis. Reproduction and early development occur in the shallow (5-50 cm) waters of lakes, ponds, swamps, ditches, river- and stream pools and puddles with stagnant or semi-flowing water. Aquatic habitats are more diverse in the centre of the species range than on its periphery.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Range

Found throughout Britain and Ireland (2). Elsewhere, the common frog occurs in most of Europe, with the exception of Portugal, most of Spain, Italy and Greece (4).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Rana temporaria is a small animal that has a squat body and no tail. They have a wide, flat head connected to a short, solid body. The lower segments of the frogs backbone are fused, forming a stiff rod called the urostyle. Their urostyle and their pelvic bones help provide firmness and strength to the rear of the body, which is where the muscles used for jumping attach to the skeleton. Their powerful legs are not only used for jumping but for swimming as well.

They have a brown-black triangular area around their eardrum, and brown shades covering the rest of their body, though there is a lot of variation in color, with gray, olive, even yellow or pink hues as well. Females are typically yellower and may have patches of red on their sides. Males develop blue patches on their back and throat during breeding season. For the most part females tend to be larger than males. The common frog is approximately 7.5-8 cm long. They lack vocal sacs and therefore can only be heard approximately 50 meters away.

(Mattison 1982; Britannica 1999-2001)

Average mass: 22.7 g.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Many terrestrial (associated with woodland) and aquatic habitat types are used. Present in coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests, forested tundra and steppe, bush and shrublands, glades, grasslands, dry and wet meadows, marshes, fields, rural gardens, parks, and urban areas. Aquatic habitats include both temporary and permanent ponds, lakes and rivers; spawning and larval development occurs in these waterbodies. It does well in many modified habitats such as rural gardens.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Rana temporaria can be found in just about any damp habitat within its range, though they are more common in cooler upland forests and wet meadows. They are the most common frog in mountain lakes.

Terrestrial Biomes: taiga ; forest ; mountains

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds; rivers and streams

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Found in a wide range of habitats, and breeds in puddles, ditches, ponds and large lakes as well as urban and rural garden ponds (5). They have even been recorded breeding in running water (5).
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Trophic Strategy

Rana temporaria eats insects, their larvae, wood lice, spiders, snails and worms. They are able to detect worms by smell. Eating habits are greatly influenced by the time of year.

(Duellman and Trueb 1986; Mattison 1993)

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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / dung saprobe
Basidiobolus ranarum is saprobic in/on dung or excretions of dung of Rana temporaria

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

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Life Expectancy

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
14 (high) years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 27 years Observations: An age-related decline in the immune system has been described in the common frog (Plytycz et al. 1995). In the wild, these animals may live up to 14 years (Smirina 1994).
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Reproduction

Mating is by means of external fertilization and takes place in water. The male climbs on the back of the female and grasps her body with his forelegs. He releases his sperm as she lays her eggs. Once the male mounts a female he will not release her until egg-laying is complete. The eggs are in gelatinous envelopes (about 400 eggs) and are laid in thick groupings. It takes approximately 30-40 days for their eggs to hatch. A relatively cold spring initiates mating behavior and maturation of eggs. During metamorphosis the tadpole grows legs-the hind legs are the first to grow. Its tail is absorbed into its body and it loses its gills and grows lungs. The structure of the digestive system, heart and skeleton change as well.

Rana temporaria breeds in warmer lowlands in February & March and in the north and at high altitudes as late as June. The breeding period is much shorter in this species than in others; in 3 nights these frogs will lay hundreds of eggs.

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)

Sex: male:
1095 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)

Sex: female:
1095 days.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Rana temporaria

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Sergius Kuzmin, Vladimir Ishchenko, Boris Tuniyev, Trevor Beebee, Franco Andreone, Per Nystrm, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk, Maria Ogielska, Jaime Bosch, Claude Miaud, Jon Loman, Dan Cogalniceanu, Tibor Kovcs, Istvn Kiss

Reviewer/s
Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Amphibian Assessment)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

History
  • 2004
    Least Concern (LC)
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This common species is currently in no danger of extinction, but local populations can be very unstable. Disturbance of breeding ponds, unusually hard freezes, and pollution by herbicides are all known to wipe out the species in a region.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Status

Protected in Britain under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), with respect to sale only (3). Listed under Annex III of the Bern Convention (4).
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Population

Population
It is generally very common, although localized declines have recently been noted in a number of western European countries (e.g.. Switzerland, Spain).

Population Trend
Stable
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

In the center of the forest zone, the Common Frog is usually the most common amphibian. For example, in mixed forests in the centre of European Russia, abundance varies depending on habitat and activity period approximately within the range of 1-250 specimens per 1000 m2. Rana temporaria is common also in agricultural areas and even settlements and cities. In the forests of the center of European Russia, it usually prefers denser parts of forest habitats than the sympatric Moor Frog, and is rarer than the latter in the south, whereas the proportion gradually changes to the north and northwest in favor of R. temporaria. The proportion of the two species varies also by years and in some areas the dominance of one or another species alternates. Density-dependent regulation is important in overcrowded tadpole groups, where several hundred individuals per liter sometimes occur, as well as in the dense groups of recently metamorphosed froglets. However, habitat peculiarities and fluctuations in weather and climate appear to be more important in terms of the overall population dynamics. The Common Frog in the European region is probably a less thermophilous species than the sympatric Moor Frog. It frequently occurs in cooler and wetter microhabitats.The frog usually hibernates in water: rivers, channels, ditches, springs, streams and lakes, primarily with a current. In underwater hibernacula, the Common Frog occurs in groups of many, sometimes few thousand individuals. Hibernation occurs from August - November to February - early June, depending on latitude and altitude. Reproduction occurs from March - late June, but generally in April over the main part of its distribution. Amplexus is pectoral (axillary), and it sometimes occurs on land on the way to the breeding pond.The spawn in deposited usually in a large clump containing 670-4500 eggs. Many, sometimes hundreds and more, clumps form large aggregations. The advantages of embryonic development in large aggregations is that it minimizes temperature fluctuations and that it decreases predation potential, especially with regards to small predators, for example, invertebrates and newts, which are less successful in penetrating large aggregations than single clutches. In such masses, the temperature is a little higher than in the surrounding water. These factors lead to an increase in embryonic survival and probably accelerate development. On the other hand, the rate of embryonic development is slower and mortality is higher in the lower parts of the aggregation than in the upper parts because of hypoxia. In this respect, group spawning in shallow sites will be more advantageous than in deep sites.Metamorphosis is completed usually in June - August. Larvae tend to concentrate into large schools in shallow water where their density sometimes reaches 100 individuals per liter. These schools may cover several hundred square meters, and the temperature there may be a little different from that in surrounding water. Crowding effect is typical for such tadpole aggregations, and the sizes of metamorphosed juveniles are variable. Larger juveniles usually metamorphosed first. They have higher survival rates during their first overwintering, which emphasize an advantage of early metamorphosis. Sexual maturity is attained no later than the 3rd year of life; the life span reaches 6 - 8 years, in the Polar Urals even 17 years.

The tadpoles consume mainly detritus, algae and higher plants. Animal food is consumed in smaller amounts. Plant and animal food diversity increase during the ontogenesis. At metamorphosis, feeding ceases for a short time after the appearance of the tadpole's forelegs. Recently metamorphosed juveniles primarily eat microarthropods: Acarina, Collembola, small larvae of Diptera. The food spectrum increases in postmetamorphic development. Adults eat mostly terrestrial prey, including Lumbricidae, Gastropoda, Aranei, Insecta etc. Aquatic prey, mainly insects and molluscs, are eaten in the largest amounts in the northern parts of the frog's distribution.From the other hand, R. temporaria, as the another brown frog, R. arvalis, compose an important food component of many vertebrate animals. It is supposed that the dynamics of some mustelids depend on the population number and dynamics of these brown frogs. The helminth composition in R. temporaria is quite similar to that of the related frog, R. arvalis.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

In the center of the forest zone, the Common Frog is usually the most common amphibian. For example, in mixed forests in the centre of European Russia, abundance varies depending on habitat and activity period approximately within the range of 1-250 specimens per 1000 m2. Rana temporaria is common also in agricultural areas and even settlements and cities. In the forests of the center of European Russia, it usually prefers denser parts of forest habitats than the sympatric Moor Frog, and is rarer than the latter in the south, whereas the proportion gradually changes to the north and northwest in favor of R. temporaria. The proportion of the two species varies also by years and in some areas the dominance of one or another species alternates. Density-dependent regulation is important in overcrowded tadpole groups, where several hundred individuals per liter sometimes occur, as well as in the dense groups of recently metamorphosed froglets. However, habitat peculiarities and fluctuations in weather and climate appear to be more important in terms of the overall population dynamics. The Common Frog in the European region is probably a less thermophilous species than the sympatric Moor Frog. It frequently occurs in cooler and wetter microhabitats.The frog usually hibernates in water: rivers, channels, ditches, springs, streams and lakes, primarily with a current. In underwater hibernacula, the Common Frog occurs in groups of many, sometimes few thousand individuals. Hibernation occurs from August - November to February - early June, depending on latitude and altitude. Reproduction occurs from March - late June, but generally in April over the main part of its distribution. Amplexus is pectoral (axillary), and it sometimes occurs on land on the way to the breeding pond.The spawn in deposited usually in a large clump containing 670-4500 eggs. Many, sometimes hundreds and more, clumps form large aggregations. The advantages of embryonic development in large aggregations is that it minimizes temperature fluctuations and that it decreases predation potential, especially with regards to small predators, for example, invertebrates and newts, which are less successful in penetrating large aggregations than single clutches. In such masses, the temperature is a little higher than in the surrounding water. These factors lead to an increase in embryonic survival and probably accelerate development. On the other hand, the rate of embryonic development is slower and mortality is higher in the lower parts of the aggregation than in the upper parts because of hypoxia. In this respect, group spawning in shallow sites will be more advantageous than in deep sites.Metamorphosis is completed usually in June - August. Larvae tend to concentrate into large schools in shallow water where their density sometimes reaches 100 individuals per liter. These schools may cover several hundred square meters, and the temperature there may be a little different from that in surrounding water. Crowding effect is typical for such tadpole aggregations, and the sizes of metamorphosed juveniles are variable. Larger juveniles usually metamorphosed first. They have higher survival rates during their first overwintering, which emphasize an advantage of early metamorphosis. Sexual maturity is attained no later than the 3rd year of life; the life span reaches 6 - 8 years, in the Polar Urals even 17 years.

The tadpoles consume mainly detritus, algae and higher plants. Animal food is consumed in smaller amounts. Plant and animal food diversity increase during the ontogenesis. At metamorphosis, feeding ceases for a short time after the appearance of the tadpole's forelegs. Recently metamorphosed juveniles primarily eat microarthropods: Acarina, Collembola, small larvae of Diptera. The food spectrum increases in postmetamorphic development. Adults eat mostly terrestrial prey, including Lumbricidae, Gastropoda, Aranei, Insecta etc. Aquatic prey, mainly insects and molluscs, are eaten in the largest amounts in the northern parts of the frog's distribution.From the other hand, R. temporaria, as the another brown frog, R. arvalis, compose an important food component of many vertebrate animals. It is supposed that the dynamics of some mustelids depend on the population number and dynamics of these brown frogs. The helminth composition in R. temporaria is quite similar to that of the related frog, R. arvalis.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species. The main localized threat is the general pollution and drainage of breeding sites and wetlands. Over collection for medical research, food and commercial purposes is a threat in parts of its range. Deforestation might have led to a gradual "northward retreat" of the species over southern parts of its distribution. Overcollection for medical research has been a threat in the past, however the extent to which it is a current threat is unknown.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The species is generally neither declining, nor threatened. However, isolated peripheral populations may be vulnerable from human influences and deserve special attention or protection. Only in some areas highly transformed by people (destruction of breeding ponds and adjacent terrestrial habitats, especially during urbanization, recreation and the overpasturage of cattle) the populations are declining. In southern regions, the species is rare, but at its northern distribution in Europe it is common. However, in some West European countries (Great Britain, parts of Germany, Switzerland, etc.), the frog declines drastically due to industrial destruction and pollution of habitats (especially ponds and swamps).

Phillimore et al. (2010) suggests that projected increases in temperature for Britain (by 2050-2070) may be more than the Rana temporaria can handle, due to local adaptation. Their models predict that first spawning date for populations in southeast Britain will need to advance by about 21-39 days, but genetically influenced plasticity in spawning date may only allow an advance of 5-9 days. Gene flow northward from more southern populations already adapted to higher temperatures could help, but is unlikely due to the barriers of the English Channel and high urbanization.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The species is generally neither declining, nor threatened. However, isolated peripheral populations may be vulnerable from human influences and deserve special attention or protection. Only in some areas highly transformed by people (destruction of breeding ponds and adjacent terrestrial habitats, especially during urbanization, recreation and the overpasturage of cattle) the populations are declining. In southern regions, the species is rare, but at its northern distribution in Europe it is common. However, in some West European countries (Great Britain, parts of Germany, Switzerland, etc.), the frog declines drastically due to industrial destruction and pollution of habitats (especially ponds and swamps).

Phillimore et al. (2010) suggests that projected increases in temperature for Britain (by 2050-2070) may be more than the Rana temporaria can handle, due to local adaptation. Their models predict that first spawning date for populations in southeast Britain will need to advance by about 21-39 days, but genetically influenced plasticity in spawning date may only allow an advance of 5-9 days. Gene flow northward from more southern populations already adapted to higher temperatures could help, but is unlikely due to the barriers of the English Channel and high urbanization.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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For several decades up until the 1970s, this frog suffered a serious decline in Britain. Since the increase in popularity of garden ponds, however, it has experienced a welcome recovery. It is not currently threatened, but populations are vulnerable to the destruction and pollution of water bodies (4). Inbreeding in garden ponds caused by isolation is thought to be a serious problem in some areas, leading to reduced immunity and an increase in disease (5).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is listed on Appendix III of the Berne Convention and on Annex V of the EU Natural Habitats Directive. It has been recorded in a number of national and sub-national Red Data books and lists, and is protected by national legislation in a number of countries. It is present in many protected areas. In parts of its range, mitigation measures to reduce road kill have been established.
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Conservation

It is illegal to sell common frogs under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 (2).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Rana temporaria are of great importance to humans. They consume insects, which helps control populations of mosquito's and crop-damaging insects. Frogs are also important when it comes to teaching and scientific research. Adult frogs are used to teach students about the anatomy and physiology of vertebrates and help scientist learn about embryonic development. Ecologists monitor frog populations as they reflect the health of the ecosystem as a whole. In addition, frog legs are a delicacy in many parts of Europe. (Mattison 1987) 

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Risks

Relation to Humans

Although many kinds of anthropogenic influences (habitat destruction and pollution, recreation, etc.) negatively affect many populations of the Common Frog, it is a species well-adaptable to life in anthropogenic conditions. Some urban populations of this species are fairly large and safe, if suitable habitats are available. Even a high level of exploitation of the frog population for purposes of medicine and education in some sites does not destroy them. Some forms of human activity lead to an increase in the frog's number and their dispersal. For example, the construction of forest rides with numerous artificial holes filled with water. Many frogs are caught for the purposes of education, medicine and science. Along with the Marsh Frog (Rana ridibunda), the Common Frog is the main subject for such collecting. The amount of these two frog species caught in the 1970s - 1980s in the former USSR measured by several tons annually. However, no population declines resulted from this.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Relation to Humans

Although many kinds of anthropogenic influences (habitat destruction and pollution, recreation, etc.) negatively affect many populations of the Common Frog, it is a species well-adaptable to life in anthropogenic conditions. Some urban populations of this species are fairly large and safe, if suitable habitats are available. Even a high level of exploitation of the frog population for purposes of medicine and education in some sites does not destroy them. Some forms of human activity lead to an increase in the frog's number and their dispersal. For example, the construction of forest rides with numerous artificial holes filled with water. Many frogs are caught for the purposes of education, medicine and science. Along with the Marsh Frog (Rana ridibunda), the Common Frog is the main subject for such collecting. The amount of these two frog species caught in the 1970s - 1980s in the former USSR measured by several tons annually. However, no population declines resulted from this.

  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
  • Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
  • Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
  • Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • Phillimore, A. B., Hadfield, J. D., Jones, O. R., and Smithers, R. J. (2010). ''Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; published online before print, April 19, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913792107 .
  • Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
  • Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
  • Terhivuo, J. (1988). ''Phenology of spawning of the Common Frog (Rana temporaria L.) in Finland from 1846 to 1986.'' Annales Zoologici Fennici, 25(2), 165-175.
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Wikipedia

Common frog

For other uses, see Common frog (disambiguation).

The common frog (Rana temporaria), also known as the European common frog, European common brown frog, or European grass frog, is a semi-aquatic amphibian of the family Ranidae, found throughout much of Europe as far north as Scandinavia and as far east as the Urals, except for most of Iberia, southern Italy, and the southern Balkans. The farthest west it can be found is Ireland, where it has long been thought, erroneously, to be an entirely introduced species. They are also found in Asia, and eastward to Japan.

Common frogs metamorphose through three distinct developmental life stages — aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile, and adult. They have corpulent bodies with a rounded snout, webbed feet and long hind legs adapted for swimming in water and hopping on land. Common frogs are often confused with the common toad Bufo bufo, but frogs can easily be distinguished as they have longer legs, hop, and have a moist skin, whereas toads crawl and have a dry 'warty' skin. The spawn of the two species also differs in that frogspawn is laid in clumps and toadspawn is laid in long strings.

Description[edit]

Adult common frogs have a body length of 6 to 9 centimetres (2.4 to 3.5 in)[2] and their backs and flanks vary in colour from olive green[3] to grey-brown, brown, olive brown, grey, yellowish and rufous.[4] However, common frogs are known to be able to lighten and darken their skin in order to match their surroundings.[3] It is not unknown for some to have more unusual colouration — both black and red individuals have been found in Scotland, and albino frogs have been found with yellow skin and red eyes.[3] During the mating season male common frogs tend to turn greyish-blue (see video below).[3] The average weight is 22.7 g (0.80 oz); females are usually slightly larger than males.[5]

The flanks, limbs and backs are covered with irregular dark blotches[3] and they usually sport a chevron-shaped spot on the back of their neck and a dark spot behind the eye.[4] Unlike other amphibians, common frogs generally lack a mid-dorsal band but, when they have one, it is comparatively faint.[4] In many countries moor frogs have a light dorsal band which easily distinguishes them from common frogs. The underbelly is white or yellow (occasionally more orange in females) and can be speckled with brown or orange.[3] The eyes are brown with transparent horizontal pupils, and they have transparent inner eyelids to protect the eyes while underwater, as well as a 'mask' which covers the eyes and eardrums.[3] Although the common frog has long hind legs compared to the common toad, they are shorter than those of the agile frog with which it shares some of its range. The longer hind legs and fainter colouration of the agile frog are the main features that distinguish the two species.

Male during breeding season showing the nuptial pad, white throat and a blue grey hue over the normal black and brown skin
Captive common frog tadpoles eating a crushed garden snail.

Males are distinguishable from females as they are smaller and have hard swellings, known as nuptial pads, on the first digits of the forelegs, used for gripping females during mating.[2][3] During the mating season males' throats often turn white, and their overall colour is generally light and greyish, whereas the female is browner, or even red.[4]

Distribution[edit]

Rana temporaria in nature park Trhoň

The common frog is found throughout much of Europe as far north as northern Scandinavia inside the Arctic Circle and as far east as the Urals, except for most of Iberia, southern Italy, and the southern Balkans. Other areas where the common frog has been introduced include the Isle of Lewis, Shetland, Orkney and the Faroe Islands. It is also found in Asia, and eastward to Japan.[3][6]

The common frog has long been thought to be an entirely introduced species in Ireland,[7] however, genetic analyses suggest that particular populations in the south west of Ireland are indeed indigenous to the country.[8] The authors propose that the Irish frog population is a mixed group that includes native frogs that survived the last glacial period in ice free refugia, natural post-glacial colonisers and recent artificial introductions from Western Europe.[8][9]

Diet[edit]

Newly hatched tadpoles are mainly herbivorous, feeding on algae, detritus, plants and some small invertebrates, but they become fully carnivorous once their back legs develop, feeding on small water animals or even other tadpoles when food is scarce.[4] Juvenile frogs feed on invertebrates both on land and in water but their feeding habits change significantly throughout their lives and older frogs will eat only on land.[3] Adult common frogs will feed on any invertebrate of a suitable size, catching their prey on their long, sticky tongues,[3] although they do not feed at all during the short breeding season.[3] Preferred foods include insects (especially flies),[4] snails, slugs and worms.[3]

Habitat and habits[edit]

Outside the breeding season, common frogs live a solitary life in damp places near ponds or marshes or in long grass.[10] They are normally active for much of the year, only hibernating in the coldest months.[4] In the most northern extremities of their range they may be trapped under ice for up to nine months of the year, but recent studies have shown that in these conditions they may be relatively active at temperatures close to freezing.[10] In the British Isles, common frogs typically hibernate from late October to January. They will re-emerge as early as February if conditions are favourable, and migrate to bodies of water such as garden ponds to spawn.[7] Where conditions are harsher, such as in the Alps, they emerge as late as early June. Common frogs hibernate in running waters, muddy burrows, or in layers of decaying leaves and mud at the bottom of ponds. The oxygen uptake through the skin suffices to sustain the needs of the cold and motionless frogs during hibernation.[3][4][11]

Reproduction[edit]

Choir of greyish males and a few brownish females still present in a small pond

During the spring the frog's pituitary gland is stimulated by changes in external factors, such as rainfall, day length and temperature, to produce hormones which, in turn, stimulate the production of sex cells - eggs in the females and sperm in the male. The male's nuptial pad also swells and becomes more heavily pigmented.[12] Common frogs breed in shallow, still, fresh water such as ponds, with spawning commencing sometime between March an late June, but generally in April over the main part of their range.[4] The adults congregate in the ponds, where the males compete for females. The courtship ritual involves noisy vocalisations, known as "croaking", by large numbers of males. The females are attracted to the males that produce the loudest and longest calls and enter the water where the males mill around and try to grasp them with their front legs — although they may grasp anything of a similar size, such as a piece of wood. The successful male climbs on the back of the female and grasps her under the forelegs with his nuptial pads, in a position known as amplexus, and kicks away any other males that try to grasp her.[12] He than stays attached in this position until she lays her eggs, which he fertilises by spraying sperm over them as they are released from the female's cloaca.[3] The courtship rituals are performed throughout the day and night but spawning typically takes place at night. The females lay between 1,000 and 2,000 eggs which float in large clusters near the surface of the water.[13][3] After mating the pairs separate, the females will leave the water and the males will try to find another mate. Within three or four days all the females will have laid their eggs and left the water and the males disperse.[12]

Amplexus of a reddish female and male in breeding colors on a spawn covered pond
Vocalisations

Conservation status[edit]

Common frogs are susceptible to a number of diseases, including Ranavirus and the parasitic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis which has been implicated in extinctions of amphibian species around the world.[14] Loss of habitat and the effect of these diseases has caused the decline of populations across Europe in recent years.[14] It is thought that the spread of the Chytridiomycota fungus has been facilitated by the effects of global warming.[15] The common frog is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1]

Predators[edit]

Tadpoles are eaten by fish, beetles, dragonfly larvae and birds. Adult frogs have many predators including storks, birds of prey, crows, gulls, ducks, terns, herons, pine martens, stoats, weasels, polecats, badgers, otters and snakes.[16] Some frogs are killed, but rarely eaten, by domestic cats, and large numbers are killed on the roads by motor vehicles.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b S. Kuzmin (2008). "Rana temporaria". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 3.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Sterry, Paul (1997). Complete British Wildlife Photoguide. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-583-33638-8. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Common frog, grass frog". bbc.co.uk science and nature. BBC. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sergius L., Kuzmin (10 November 1999). "Rana temporia". AmphibiaWeb. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  5. ^ Common frog, grass frog
  6. ^ Rana temporaria have established themselves as a wild population in Nólsoy
  7. ^ a b "The Common Frog - (Rana temporaria)". enfo.ie. ENFO. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  8. ^ a b Teacher, A. G. F.; T. W. J. Garner; R. A. Nichols (21 January 2009). "European phylogeography of the common frog (Rana temporaria): routes of postglacial colonization into the British Isles, and evidence for an Irish glacial refugium". Heredity 102 (5): 490–496. doi:10.1038/hdy.2008.133. ISSN 0018-067X. PMID 19156165. 
  9. ^ "Irish frogs may have survived Ice Age". Zoological Society of London. 17 March 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Roots, Clive (2006). Hibernation. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. pp. 510, 511. ISBN 0-313-33544-3. 
  11. ^ Dunlop, David (26 February 2004). "Common Frog final" (PDF). Lancashire BAP. Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  12. ^ a b c Anon. "Frog Reproduction". Frog-garden.com. Frog-garden.com. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  13. ^ The Macdonald Encyclopedia of Amphibians and Reptiles - Rana temporaria 80
  14. ^ a b Eccleston, Paul (28 July 2008). "Appeal for public help to track deadly frog disease". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  15. ^ Eccleston, Paul (1 January 2008). "Disease threatens mass extinction of frogs". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  16. ^ Anon. "Common frog: rana temporaria". All about... Scottish National Heritage. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  17. ^ RSPB Birds magazine Summer 2004, page 66
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