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Frog of the Week

Agile Frog (Rana dalmatina)

Agile Frog
photo by Simon J. Tonge

Common Name: Agile Frog
Scientific Name: Rana dalmatina
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
Introduced Locations: Belgium
Size: 3.14 inches (8 cm)

The Agile Frog lives throughout most of Europe besides the northern regions.

The breeding season starts shortly after the frogs awake from their hibernation (between February and March) and lasts until April. Males gather in large groups in the shallows of water bodies to call. Once the female arrives, the males try to grasp the female behind in the amplexus position. The female frog lays between 450 – 1800 eggs. The tadpoles usually take 2 to 4 months to complete their metamorphosis but have been known stay as tadpoles over winter and complete it in spring.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Agile Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a wide range and are numerous throughout it. Though in some areas of its range, it has been harder to find due to draining of wetlands and cutting down woodlands they call home. On the isle of Jersey, the frogs are considered critically endangered and they have even re-introduced the species there.

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Frogs and Toads of Wales

Wales is not home to many species of frogs and toads.

Frogs

Ranidae – True Frog family

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European Common Brown Frog (Rana temporaria)

Common Name: European Common Brown Frog
Scientific Name: Rana temporaria
Location: Throughout

The Common Frog has smoother skin than the toads.

Toads

Bufonidae – True Toad family

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Nattarjack Toad(Epidalea calamita)

Common Name: Nattarjack Toad
Scientific Name: Epidalea calamita
Location: North Wales coast

The Nattarjack has a bold yellow line down the center of its back, differing from the Common Toad. They are usually smaller than the Common Toad as well.

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Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

Common Name: Common Toad
Scientific Name: Bufo bufo
Location: Throughout

The most wide spread of the frogs and toads of Wales.

Introduced Species

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African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

Common Name: African Clawed Frog
Scientific Name: Xenopus laevis
Location: Southern Wales

The African Clawed Frog is a fully aquatic frog that was once used as pregnancy tests in labs. Sadly, some individuals have escaped those labs or were released. These frogs are blamed for the spread of diseases.

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Common Midwife Toad (Alytes obstetricans)

Common Name: Common Midwife Toad
Scientific Name: Alytes obstericans
Location: Around Llandrindod Wells

Originally introduced in Bedford in the 19th century, the toad has spread out a bit.

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Frogs and Toads of Scotland

Frogs and Toads of Scotland

Scotland is only home to one frog species and two toad species.

Frogs

Ranidae – True Frog family

commonfrog
European Common Brown Frog (Rana temporaria)

Common Name: European Brown Frog
Scientific Name: Rana temporaria
Location:Throughout

The European Common Brown Frog is the most common frog in Europe. It has smoother skin compared to the toads.

Toads

Bufonidae – True Toad family

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Nattarjack Toad(Epidalea calamita)

Common Name: Nattarjack Toad
Scientific Name: Epidalea calamita
Location: Dumfriesshire coast

The Nattarjack Toad has a bright yellow stripe down its back that the Common Toad lacks.

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Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

Common Name: Common Toad
Scientific Name: Bufo bufo
Location: Throughout

The Common Toad is more common than the Nattarjack Toad as well as larger.

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Frogs and Toads of England

England is home to various frogs and toads.

Frogs

Ranidae – True Frog family

The True Frogs are your typical frogs, generally smooth skin with long legs.

Common Name: European Brown Frog
Scientific Name: Rana temporaria
Location: Throughout

The European Brown Frog has a dark bar behind its eyes and on its legs that help identify it.

Common Name: Pool Frog
Scientific Name: Pelophylax lessonae
Location: Norfolk

The Pool Frog went extinct in the UK in the 1990’s but they have been re-introduced.

Toads

Bufonidae – True Toad family

The True Toads are your typical toad with warty skin and short legs. They usually have a parotid gland behind their eyes that contain a poison. It is not advised to let your dog eat these guys.

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Nattarjack Toad(Epidalea calamita)

Common Name: Nattarjack Toad
Scientific Name: Epidalea calamita
Location: Sand dunes along the Merseyside coast, the Cumbrian coast, and on the Scottish Solway

The Nattarjack has a bold yellow line down the center of its back, differing from the Common Toad. They are usually smaller than the Common Toad as well.

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Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

Common Name: Common Toad
Scientific Name: Bufo bufo
Location: Throughout

The most wide spread of the frogs and toads of England.

Invasive Species

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Common Midwife Toad (Alytes obstetricans)

Common Name: Common Midwife Toad
Scientific Name: Alytes obstericans
Location: Southern part

Originally introduced in Bedford in the 19th century, the toad has spread out a bit.

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Marsh Frog (Pelophylax ridibundus)

Common Name: Marsh Frog
Scientific Name: Pelophylax ridibundus
Location: Southeastern part

The Marsh Frog is the largest frog native to Europe but sadly, they have been introduced to England. Their size allows them to predate on native species.

American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
Location: Southeast England

The American Bullfrog is native to the eastern United States but has spread around the world due to demand for its legs.

Edible Frog (Pelophylax esculentus)

Common Name: Edible Frog
Scientific Name: Pelophylax esculentus
Location: Southeastern England

The Edible Frog appears very similar to the Marsh and the Pool Frog. They can even breed with them, making it hard to differentiate between them.

Frog of the Week

Spotted Snout Burrower (Hemisus guttatus)

Spotted Snout-Burrower
photo by Wayne Sullivan Rawlinson

Common Name: Spotted Snout Burrower
Scientific Name: Hemisus guttatus
Family: Hemisotidae – Shovel-Nosed Frog Family
Locations: South Africa
Size: 3 inches (80 mm)

The Spotted Snout Burrower lives in the loose, sandy soils in the grasslands and savannas of the South Africa. The frog starts to breed at the start of the rainy season. The male will grab the female from behind in the amplexus position while the female digs a burrow. The female lays her eggs in the burrow and the male fertilizes them.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Spotted Snout Burrower as Near Threatened with Extinction. Although the frog is wide spread, decreases in quality habitat is causing population declines. Also, the species habitat is severely fragmented.

Frog of the Week

Boie’s Frog (Proceratophrys boiei)

Boie's Frog
photo by João P. Burini 

Common English Names: Boie’s Frog or Rio de Janeiro’s Smooth Horned Frog
Scientific Name: Proceratophrys boiei
Family: Odontophrynidae
Locations: Brazil
Size: 1.5 – 2.9 inches (40 – 74 mm)

The Boie’s Frog lives in the Atlantic rain forest and other primary and secondary forests of eastern Brazil. They are often found in leaf litter near streams.

When threatened, the Boie’s Frog flattens its body and stiffens its arms out to their side. Researchers believe that this helps the frog better mimic a dead leaf on the ground.

Males call from September to January, end of the rainy season. Eggs are laid in swamps or streams.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Boie’s Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and a presumed large population. Primary threat to the frog is deforestation to make room for more farms, cattle grazing areas, and human settlements,

Frog of the Week

Natal Ghost Frog (Hadromophryne natalensis)

Natal Ghost Frog
photo by Luke Verburgt

Common Name: Natal Ghost Frog
Scientific Name: Hadromophryne natalensis
Family: Heleophrynidae – Ghost Frog family
Locations: Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland
Male Size: 1.77 inches (45 mm)
Female Size: 2.4 inches (63 mm)

The Natal Ghost Frog breeds in late summer (March to May). The males call out from around the streams. Once the female arrives, the male grasps the female from behind in the water in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays between 50 – 200 eggs and attaches them to the underside of rocks in the stream. The tadpoles take 2 years to complete their metamorphosis.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Natal Ghost Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and a presumed large population.

Frog of the Week

San Jose Cochran Frog (Cochranella euknemos)

San Jose Cochran Frog
photo by Brian Gratwicke

Common Name: San Jose Cochran Frog
Scientific Name: Cochranella euknemos
Family: Centrolenidae – Glass Frog family
Locations: Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama
Female Size: 1.0 – 1.25 inches (25 – 32 mm)
Male Size: 0.8 – 1.0 inches (21 – 25 mm)

The San Jose Cochran Frog lives on trees and other vegetation near streams in lowland, premontane, and montane forests. Their translucent skin helps them hide on leaves during the day. The frogs breed during the rainy season. The males call from branches over hanging streams.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ICUN) Red List assesses the San Jose Cochran Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog is common in Colombia but rare in Costa Rica and Panama. The major threat to the species is deforestation.

Frog of the Week

Fiji Tree Frog (Cornufer vitiensis)

Fiji Tree Frog
Fiji tree frog by Tamara.osborne

Common Name: Fiji Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Cornufer vitiensis
Family: Ceratobatracidae
Locations: Fiji – Islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Ovalau, and possibly Taveuni
Male Size: 1.25 – 1.7 inches (32 – 45 mm)
Female Size: 1.8 – 2.3 inches (47 – 60 mm)

The Fiji Tree Frog is one of the two native frogs to the islands of Fiji with the other being the Fiji Ground Frog (Cornufer vitianus). As you can tell by their names, the Fiji Tree Frog lives in trees and other vegetation, often near streams.

The frog breeds all year round but is most active breeding from December to March. The Fiji Frog is one of the few species where both the male and the female call for males. Amplexus for the species is inguinal, where the male grabs the female by her things. Twenty to forty eggs are laid in leaf axils, where they will hatch directly into tiny frogs, skipping a free larval tadpole phase.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Fiji Tree Frog as Near Threatened with Extinction. Habitat loss is the number one issue for the frog. The forests that they live in are being cut down for lumber and to make room for more farms and urban areas.