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Overview

Brief Summary

In the Netherlands, the moor frog lives particularly on Texel and on Schouwen. Otherwise, you can find it on sandy soils more inland, however it is a rare species. It is bounded to low, damp terrain and needs open water for reproduction. The moor frog is being threatened by large-scale interventions in the landscape (agriculture, nature development) and is sensitive to desiccation and acidification of its habitat. It is listed as vulnerable species on the Red List for amphibians and reptiles.
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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. Snout more or less terminating in a point. Male with internal guttural vocal sacs. Shin (knee to ankle) shorter than body by 1.9-2.6 times. When the shins are positioned perpendicularly to the body axis, the heels contact or overlap. When the hind leg is stretched along the body, the tibio-tarsal articulation usually reaches the eye, nostril, tip of snout or even slightly exceeds it. Inner metatarsal tubercle high, shorter than the first toe by 1.1-2.3 times. Flank and thigh skin smooth. Dorsal coloration grey, light-olive, brown, yellowish or rufous. Chevron-shaped (^) dark glandular spot on the neck. Dark spots of 1-3 mm on dorsal and lateral surfaces vary considerably in number, arrangement and size. Temporal spot large. Light middorsal band with regular edges frequently present, often reaches the middle or the tip of the snout. Belly white or yellowish without pattern or with pallid-brownish or greyish spots on the throat and chest. Male differs from female by having nuptial pads on the first finger, paired guttural vocal sac and, during the breeding season, light-blue coloration of the body (the female is brown or rufous). Subspecific differentiation needs further study. The species belongs to the "brown frog" group.

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. and Ledentsov, A.V. (1985). ''[Ecological aspects of the postmetamorphic growth in Rana arvalis].'' Ekologicheskie Aspekty Skorosti Rosta i Razvitiya Zhivotnykh. Sverdlovsk.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • 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.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found throughout most of the northern, central and eastern parts of Europe, eastwards to Siberia (Yakutia and Baikal Lake), Russia and Xinjiang Province, China. It is no longer believed to be present in Serbia and the original records were probably in error (Kalezic and Dzukic, 2001). It is typically a lowland species, but can occur at altitudes close to 1,500m asl. (Altai Mountains).
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Distribution and Habitat

Northern margin of the range extends from the Southwestern Norway, Central Sweden and Finland to Northwestern Russia. There, the margin runs from Murmansk Province, then approximately along the line: Arkhangelsk Province (Pinezhskii Nature Reserve - south of the Kanin Peninsula - Nenets Autonomous County) - Komi Republic (Vorkuta City: 67º29'N, 64º00'E) - Tyumen Province (Yamal-Nenets Autonomous County, Kharvuta Settlement on the Khadyta-Yakha River) - Krasnoyarsk Region (Taimyr Autonomous County). Then the margin runs south-southeastwards from the Enisei River to the Chuna River in Krasnoyarsk Region and Irkutsk Province (Boguchan District) and to Irkutsk City (52º19'N, 104º18'E). The frog inhabits the valleys of the Lena River and its tributaries from Irkutsk City northeastwards to Sanyyakhtakh Settlement in Yakutia (ca. 60º40'N, 124ºE). The frog was recorded also in Olekminskii Nature Reserve (58º45'N, 122º20'E). From the valley of the Lena River in Irkutsk Province (Kirensk Settlement: 57º45'N, 108º04'E), the margin runs southwards on the northern shore of Lake Baikal near the Baikalskii Ridge. To the south of Baikal Lake, in Buryatia, the frog is distributed from the Irkut River northeastwards along the southern shore of the Baikal to Barguzinskii Nature Reserve (54º23'N, 109º05'E).The southern margin of the range runs approximately from the Southern France and Germany, Northern Yugoslavia, Central Bulgaria, then by the Southern Ukraine approximately along the line: Odessa Province (Kiliya District) - Nikolaev Province - Kherson City - Zaporozhie Province - Donetsk Province. Then the margin runs in Russia eastwards to Rostov Province and northeastwards to the south of Volgograd Province. Then it runs eastwards in Kazakhstan approximately along the line: Uralsk City (51º13'N, 51º22'E) - Aktyubinsk City - Turgai Province - Tselinograd Province - Karaganda Province - Semipalatinsk City area (50º27'N, 80o14'E). Then the margin turns southwards to Ayaguz Town (47º58'N, 80º26'E) and Taldy-Kurgan Province (to the west of Alakol Lake, Uch-Aral Settlement: ca. 46º20'N, 80º40'E), then to Altai Mountains in the north of China and Mongolia.

The Moor Frog inhabits the zones of tundra, forest tundra, forest, forest steppe, and steppe. In Europe, the frog generally inhabits drier and more open sites than the Common Frog (Rana temporaria), including forest edges and glades, swamps, meadows, fields, bushlands gardens, etc. In Siberia, the species lives mainly in open swamps. The frog penetrates tundra and steppe in association with arboreal vegetation, primarily along intrazonal landscapes of river valleys. At the southern and northern limits of its range, in tundra, forest, and true steppes, the species lives near water bodies: rivers, lakes etc. There the populations of R. arvalis seem to be isolated. Spawning and early development occurs in stagnant waters, including lakes, ponds, swamps, puddles and ditches, which are from several meters to some hectares in area and from few centimeters to two meters in depth.

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. and Ledentsov, A.V. (1985). ''[Ecological aspects of the postmetamorphic growth in Rana arvalis].'' Ekologicheskie Aspekty Skorosti Rosta i Razvitiya Zhivotnykh. Sverdlovsk.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • 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.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in a wide variety of habitats including tundra, forest tundra, forest, forest steppe, steppe, forest edges and glades, semi-desert, swamps, peatlands, moorlands, meadows, fields, bush lands, gardens. It has a breeding season, and spawning and larval development takes place in various stagnant water bodies of low acidity, including lakes, ponds, swamps, puddles and ditches. There is some evidence that the species can occur in agricultural landscapes, and in some areas it appears to be adapting to urban conditions (e.g.. Vershinin, 1997).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 11 years (wild) Observations: In the wild, females may live up to 11 years (Smirina 1994).
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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, David Tarkhnishvili, Vladimir Ishchenko, Boris Tuniyev, Trevor Beebee, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk, Maria Ogielska, Wiesiek Babik, Milan Vogrin, Jon Loman, Dan Cogalniceanu, Tibor Kovács, István 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
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Population

Population
It is generally common, and is abundant in central-eastern Europe. It is extinct in Switzerland in the extreme southwestern part of its wide range. It is considered to be rare and declining in China.

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

Rana arvalis is one of the most abundant amphibians in the Central and Eastern Europe, as well as West Siberia. There, its population density reaches several hundred individuals per hectare. Local density may be higher, such as in breeding ponds where 15-20 individuals per 1 m2 can be found. In the forests of the center of European Russia, it usually prefers more open habitats than the sympatric Common Frog, and is rarer than the latter in the north, whereas the proportion gradually changes to the south and southeast in favor of R. arvalis,> and at the south of the zone of sympatry it significantly outnumbers R. temporaria. The proportion of the two species varies also by year, 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 Moor Frog in the European region is probably a more thermophilous species than the sympatric Common Frog. It frequently occurs in warmer and drier microhabitats. Hibernation extends from September - November to February - June, in dependence on latitude. The earliest appearance (February) and latest disappearance (late November - December) takes place in the plain areas at the southwest of the species distribution, whereas the latest appearance (June) and earliest disappearance (September) is in the Polar Urals. Reproduction occurs from March - June, usually some days after the end of hibernation. Males form breeding choruses. Amplexus is pectoral (axial). The total duration of the breeding season within a pond is 3-28 days. Eggs are deposited in shallow, well-warmed sites, during both day and night. However, spawning by the Moor Frog peaks later than that of the Common Frog; it prefers more open and shallow wetlands for reproduction. The clutch contains 500-3000 eggs deposited usually in one, rarely in two clumps.

Metamorphosis occurs from the beginning of June to October in different regions. In general, the duration of development before metamorphosis shortens in the north and the south of the distribution. Formation of dense schools of tadpoles, where density-dependent regulation of development takes place, is typical. The density does not influence larval survival rate directly but influences the probability of successful metamorphosis because fastly developing tadpoles often complete their transformation, while slowly developing specimens die in drying wetlands. "Delayed" larvae metamorphosed into froglets at significantly smaller body sizes and possessed less energy reserves. This may be evidence of lower viability. However, in good living conditions, their compensatory growth may enable them to reach the size of specimens from early clutches. However, this compensatory growth takes place relatively seldom, and more often the growth does not depend on individual size after metamorphosis. Sexual maturity is attained in the 2nd-5th year of life. On average, females mature later and have a longer life span than males. The maximum life span recorded for this species is 11 years old.Moor Frog tadpoles eat Chlorophyta, Cladocera, and other algae, higher plants, detritus, as well as small amounts of invertebrates. Recently metamorphosed froglets forage on Acarina, Collembola and other microarthropods. Adults consume mainly terrestrial prey, aquatic invertebrates (slugs, diving beetles etc.) are consumed in smaller proportions and, as a rule, irregularly. Feeding ceases during the reproductive season.

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. and Ledentsov, A.V. (1985). ''[Ecological aspects of the postmetamorphic growth in Rana arvalis].'' Ekologicheskie Aspekty Skorosti Rosta i Razvitiya Zhivotnykh. Sverdlovsk.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • 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.
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Threats

Major Threats
It is threatened by the destruction and pollution of breeding ponds (including acidification) and adjacent wetland and terrestrial habitats, especially through urbanization, recreation, tourism, industry and overstocking of cattle. Additional threats are prolonged drought and predation of spawn by waterfowl. Chytrid fungus was detected in this species in Berlin, Germany - however the extent to which this is a 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) have the populations declined.

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. and Ledentsov, A.V. (1985). ''[Ecological aspects of the postmetamorphic growth in Rana arvalis].'' Ekologicheskie Aspekty Skorosti Rosta i Razvitiya Zhivotnykh. Sverdlovsk.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • 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.
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Management

Conservation Actions

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

Risks

Relation to Humans

In addition to the above mentioned anthropogenic factors of the species local declines, industrial pollution also negatively affects populations, including those living in cities. It leads to an increase of frequency of morphological abnormalities and disturbances in embryonic and larval development. Nevertheless, R. arvalis is a species easily adaptable to life in anthropogenic conditions. Some urban populations of this species are fairly large and safe, if suitable habitats are available. 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.

  • Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. (1978). Dinamicheskii Polimophizm Burykh Lyagushek Fauny SSSR [Dynamic Polymorphism of the Brown Frogs of USSR Fauna]. Nauka, Moscow.
  • Ishchenko, V.G. and Ledentsov, A.V. (1985). ''[Ecological aspects of the postmetamorphic growth in Rana arvalis].'' Ekologicheskie Aspekty Skorosti Rosta i Razvitiya Zhivotnykh. Sverdlovsk.
  • Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
  • 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.
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Wikipedia

Moor Frog

The moor frog (Rana arvalis) is a slim, reddish-brown, semiaquatic amphibian native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the family Ranidae, or true frogs.

Taxonomy[edit]

The family the moor frog belongs to, Ranidae, is a broad group containing 605 species. The family is like a “catch-all” for ranoid frogs that do not belong to any other families.[2] Since this is the case, the characteristics that define them are more general, and the frogs are found all throughout the world, on every continent but Antarctica.

The moor frog’s genus, Rana, is a little more specific. Frogs of this genus are found in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. The moor frog is not found in either of the Americas, unlike the foothill yellow-legged frog, Cascades frog, and Columbia spotted frog, which are all found in North America.

The moor frog’s scientific name, Rana arvalis means "frog of the fields".[3] It is also called the Altai brown frog because frogs from the Altai Mountains in Asia have been included in the R. arvalis species. The Altai frogs have some different characteristics such as shorter shins, but currently there is no official distinction and all frogs are placed under Rana arvalis.[1] The taxonomy may be more defined in the future.

Physical description[edit]

This is a small frog, characterized by an unspotted belly, a large, dark ear spot, and — often, not always — a pale stripe down the center of the back. They are generally described as a reddish-brown, but can also be yellow, gray, or light olive.[3] Their bellies are white or yellow and they have a "bandit-like" black stripe going from their nose to their ears. They vary from 5.5 to 6.0 cm long, but can reach up to 7.0 cm in length, and their heads are more tapered than those of the Common frog (Rana temporaria). The skin on their flanks and thighs is smooth, and the posterior part of their tongues is forked and free. They have horizontal pupils, their feet are partially webbed, and their back legs are shorter than those of other species of frogs. The males are different from the females because of the nuptial pads on their first fingers and their paired guttural vocal sacs.

Moor frogs are commonly found in the areas highlighted in blue

Habitat[edit]

The frogs can be found inhabiting an area stretching from the lowlands of Central and Southern Europe to Siberia, in Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine. However, they are believed to be extinct in Switzerland and maybe Siberia, as well. The records of frogs being in Siberia at all possibly were in error.[1] Alsace, France, constitutes the western boundary of their territory.

The types of land they can inhabit are greatly varied. They live in tundra, forest tundra, forest, forest steppe, and steppe, forest edges and glades, semideserts, swamps, meadows, fields, bush lands, and gardens. They prefer areas untouched by humans, such as damp meadows and bogs, but they still may be able to live in agricultural and urban areas.[1]

Life habits[edit]

Hibernation[edit]

Moor frogs will hibernate sometime between September and June, depending on the latitude of the location. Frogs in southwestern, plains areas will disappear later (around November or December) and return earlier (February). Frogs in cold, polar areas, though, will disappear sooner (in September) and return later (in June).[4]

Breeding[edit]

The mating season takes place between March and June right after the end of hibernation. Males form breeding choruses, and their songs sound similar to those of the agile frog, (Rana dalmatina). Their calls can "sound like air escaping from a submerged empty bottle: 'waug.…waug….waug'.[5] Males can also develop bright-blue coloration for a few days during the season.

The spawning happens very quickly and is completed in three to 28 days. The spawn of each frog is laid in one or two clusters of 500-3000 eggs in warm, shallow waters like in ponds.

The male specimen can be coloured blue for a small period of two or three days a year

Metamorphosis[edit]

Metamorphosis happens between June and October. Larvae are about 45 mm long and colored dark with small metallic dots. When they become tadpoles, they eat algae and small invertebrates. The adult frogs' feeding is halted during the breeding season, but their diets consist of insects and various invertebrates.

Defense[edit]

When moor frogs on land sense a threat, they will make a large jump and bury themselves in soil or grass.

Population threats[edit]

This species faces few major threats and is on the IUCN's Lowest Concern list. There are problems, though, with destruction and pollution of its habitat and breeding grounds through urbanization, etc., where people overwhelm their environments. Droughts and predation can also cause problems, but overall it quite adaptable and its population trend is considered stable.

Scientific studies[edit]

Extensive scientific experiments have been performed on moor frogs in an attempt to understand them better. This species is known to have a limited decline in population, but increased acidity levels in breeding areas might be a problem. Studies have shown, when moor frogs are exposed to acidity, they are able to adapt to it and their populations survive.[6][7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sergius Kuzmin, David Tarkhnishvili, Vladimir Ishchenko, Boris Tuniyev, Trevor Beebee, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk, Maria Ogielska, Wiesiek Babik, Milan Vogrin, Jon Loman, Dan Cogalniceanu, Tibor Kovács, István Kiss (2009). "Rana arvalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Eldredge. "Life on Earth." 2002
  3. ^ a b http://www.waza.org/virtualzoo /factsheet.php?id=403-016-040-012&view=Amphibia
  4. ^ http://amphibiaweb.org/cgi-bin/amphib_query?where-genus=Rana&where-species=arvalis
  5. ^ http://www.whose-tadpole.net/key-to-adult-amphibia/R-arvalis.htm
  6. ^ Andren, Claes, Marlene Marden, and Goran Nilson. “Tolerance to Low pH in a Population of Moor Frogs, Rana arvalis, from an Acid and a Neutral Environment: A Possible Case of Rapid Evolutionary Response to Acidification.” Oikos. 56 (1989): 215-223
  7. ^ Merila, Juha. “Local adaptation and amphibian pH tolerance.” Ecological Genetics Research Unit. 18 Sept. 2008. 28 Mar. 2009<http://www.helsinki.fi/biosci/egru/merila/e/ project3.html>.
  8. ^ Räsänen, Katja, Anssi Laurila, and Juha Merilä. “Geographic Variation in Acid Stress Tolerance of the Moor Frog, Rana arvalis. I. Local Adaptation.” Evolution. 57 (2003): 352-362

References[edit]

amphibiaweb.org/cgi-bin/amphib_query?where-genus=Rana&where-species=arvalis>.

/factsheet.php?id=403-016-040-012&view=Amphibia>.

  • "Google Books". Concise Encyclopedia of Biology. Retrieved 2006-03-27. 
  • Some parts of this article were translated from the article Grenouille des champs on the French language Wikipedia.
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