Frog of the Week

Common Parsley Frog (Pelodytes punctatus)

photo by Teuteul

Common Name: Common Parsley Frog
Scientific Name: Pelodytes punctatus
Family: Pelodytidae – the Parsley Frog family
Location: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain
Size: 1.7 inches (4.5 cm)

The Common Parsley Frog isn’t that common anymore. Populations all over have been declining and most of the countries that they live in have declared them at risk. The destruction of their habitat (wetlands being drained, desertification, habitat fragmentation, etc) is one of the major causes of the decline. Introduction of non native fish and crayfish haven’t helped either. These creatures eat the tadpoles, causing population declines.

Depending on location, the Common Parsley Frog can have two different breeding season. In the northern part of the range, they breed at the end of winter / early spring. In the southern part of the range, the frogs breed in the spring but also breed again in the fall. The Common Parsley Frog breeds mostly in temporary pools of water but can occasionally breed in small streams and reservoirs. Males will start to call out to females in hopes of attracting a mate. If a female selects the male as a mate, the male will grasp her from behind in the amplexus position. The female will then lay her eggs and the male will fertilize them from behind. The female can produce 40-300 eggs in a clutch but can produce multiple clutches during the breeding season. Neither parent will then provide any parental care. The tadpoles take around 3 months to complete their metamorphosis.

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