Common Frog

Common Frogs are generally 2.4 to 3.5 inches with an average weight of 0.80oz and can be found in parts of Europe and Asia. Common Frogs can be olive green to grey, brown, grey, or russet and live in areas with access to water such as marshes, ponds and swamps.

Common NameCommon Frog
Other NameEuropean Common Frog
Scientific NameRana temporaria
LocationsNorthern and Eastern Europe, Japan
CharacteristicsWebbed feet and long hind legs
ColorOlive green, grey, brown, mustard, russet
OriginEurope
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
FamilyRanidae
GenusRana
SpeciesR. temporaria
PoisonousNo
Max Length3.5 inches
Max Weight0.8 oz
Lifespan5-10 years

Common frogs are the typical textbook example of frogs that you know. Most of them have brown skin, but some have grey or olive-green skin depending on their environment. Some rare common frogs have yellow, black, and even red skin. Male common frogs tend to change to greyish blue during mating season.

A Pool Frog and a Common European Frog sitting in my parent’s pond

Common Frogs can be easy to attract to your yard, especially if you live in an area where their natural habitat is being encroached upon by urbanization. Unfortunately, my parents live in an area where Common Frogs were losing their natural habitat due to construction, but thanks to their backyard pond, three frogs naturally migrated to the pond.

The European common frog can be found in many places in Europe and is one of the most commonly used examples of frogs in laboratories and textbooks. Because of their gentleness, and slug eating habits, common frogs have become a favorite of not only amphibian lovers, but also crop farmers as well.

Tips on How to Spot Common Frogs

Common frogs mostly stay in freshwater, muddy pools or algae-filled still water, woodland, gardens, hedgerows and tussocky grassland. Also, while they usually move about during the day, they tend to be more active at night

Common frogs typically live in most wetland parts of Europe. They inhabit the Faroe Islands, the Isle of Lewis, Ireland, Scandinavia, freshwater pools and swamps of the Ural Mountains and forest regions.

However, due to human introduction, they now populate other regions. The common frog, being quite popular, it is not hard to identify. Here are some helpful tips for finding them.

  • It would be best if you made your search in the evening as night approaches
  • Be sure to carry a flashlight with you
  • Look for them near the shoreline in shallow bodies of freshwater
  • Their nose looks somewhat like that of a snake with bulging eyes
  • Look for their snouts and eyes sticking out of the waterline
  • They don’t typically mind humans, nevertheless, you should approach them silently
  • Close to the water, you may see some frogs hopping about or stalking prey
  • During mating season, it is generally easier to spot them as males croak to attract females

Interesting Facts About Common Frogs

  • Common Frogs hibernate below frozen water during winter
  • Female Common Frogs can lay up to 2,000 eggs near the surface of still water
  • Common Frog tadpoles take between 2 to 3 months to develop into froglets
  • Common frogs typically live up to 5 years in the wild, and 10 years in captivity
  • They are found in most parts of Northern Europe, but also in Asia including Japan
  • Like all adult frogs, common frogs are carnivores, and typically eat worms and slugs

Common Questions About Common Frogs

Can you keep a common frog as a pet? Wild Common Frogs should not be kept as indoor pets, however, you can attract them to your yard with an adapted frog pond. This can be an excellent way to observe them in their natural habitat and provide them a safe place to live.

How long do common frogs live? Common frogs typically live up to 5 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity. Many things could shorten a common frog’s life in the wild, including predators and sickness, and most common frog tadpoles do not make it to adulthood.

Why do male frogs have big forelimbs? Male common frogs have pads on the first digits of their front limbs that swell up when the mating season approaches. The nuptial pads help make frogs hold on to the females tightly during mating. Because of their slippery skin, it would be easy for the male to fall off the female during the mating process.

Do common frogs make noises? Male common frogs make croaking noises during mating season to attract females. The females tend to gravitate towards males who croak the loudest.

How long do common frogs croak? You will hear common frogs croaking between March and June at night. Most frog species call from sundown to 2 to 3 am during mating season.

Why do common frogs croak so loudly? Male common frogs croak loudly to attract females to them. Furthermore, there are so many male frogs in ponds that the desperate ones need to croak loud enough for females to notice them. The more frogs the louder they are.

Are common frogs poisonous? Common frogs are not poisonous. They do not have the special poison glands some species in the Amazon have that produce toxins. However, all frogs can carry viral or bacterial diseases such as salmonella.

How many babies do common frogs have? Female common frogs usually lay between 1,000 to 2,000 eggs each, and each egg is encircled by embryonic material that spans up to 1 cm in radius. It takes about 2 weeks for an egg to develop into a tadpole, at least 3 more weeks to become a froglet.

Are common frogs endangered? Common frogs are not classified as endangered. However, they face threats that could lead to them being endangered shortly. Due to urbanization, many natural habitats of these species are encroached upon and destroyed. This habitat loss is gradually leading to their decline in numbers. 

What Do Common Frogs Eat? Common Frogs live on a diet of smaller amphibians, their larvae, and invertebrates including insects, worms, and snails. They take advantage of their long sticky tongues to catch suitable preys, which fit in their mouth.

What Is the Most Common Frog in the UK? The common frog species in the UK is the Rana Temporaria, or Common Frog, that habitats most woodlands, fresh ponds, and running water in parts of Ireland. It was also introduced to Shetland and Orkney Islands in the Uk.

Sources

Common frog, grass frogbbc.co.uk science and nature. BBC. Archived.

Teacher, A., Garner, T. & Nichols, R. 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, 490–496 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2008.133