Frog Lifespan: How Long Frogs Live

Toads and frogs can have a much longer lifespan than most people think. I had a pet toad in our yard as a child and he lived to be pretty old and large thanks to access to food, shelter and few predators.

Generally, frogs live 3 to 18 years in the wild and on average 10 to 20 years in captivity. Toads have been recorded to have lived up to 40 years in captivity. Frog longevity is influenced by the presence of food and predators, their size, gender, and environment.

Continue reading to learn more about different types of frogs and their lifespan expectancy, as well as what factors influence how long frogs can live.

Frog Lifespan Depends on Species

How long a frog lives is influenced by the species. For example, American Bullfrogs are known to live 8 to 10 years in the wild and up to 16 years in captivity. Northern Leopard Frogs generally live 4 to 5 years in the wild and up to 9 years in captivity.

Here are some of the frogs that are commonly found in North America, Europe, or Australia with their lifespan depending on the species and their location which may be in the wild or in captivity:

Frog Species LifespanWild (Years)Captivity (Years)
American Bullfrog8-1016
Spring Peeper46
Green Frog610
American Green Tree Frog46
American Toad1-1030
Black Rain Frog415
Cane Toad1015
Goliath Frog1521
Pacman Frog1-46-10
Northern Leopard Frog4-59
Blanchard’s Cricket Frog24
Gray Tree Frog79
Australian Tree Frog1620
Common Toad10-1240
Common Frog510
Narrow-Mouthed Frog3-5NA

Blanchard’s Cricket Frog live 2 years on average in the wild and up to 4 years in captivity. Australian Tree frogs are known to live a long time in captivity up to 20 years, with an average lifespan of 16 years in the wild.

DNA or genetics can influence how long a frog can live depending on the species. For example, American Bullfrogs are known to live 8 to 10 years in the wild and up to 16 years in captivity, whereas Blanchard’s Cricket Frogs only live 2 years on average in the wild and up to 4 years in captivity.

Although they are both frogs, Bullfrogs and Blanchards’ Cricket Frogs are different species of different sizes with different genetics which influences their life expectancy (CTNF).

Frog Lifespan Depends on The Presence of Food

If there is an abundance of food where the frogs live, and few predators around, they can live for a long period of time. On the other hand, if it is hard for the frog to find food to eat, it can be harder for the frog to live a long life.

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Learn more about what frogs eat in this article on our blog.

Frog Lifespan Depends on The Presence of Predators

If frogs are surrounded by thousands of predators and have few places to hide, it’s a recipe for disaster. Although frogs have hundreds of awesome defense mechanisms (check them out here) they do not always work.

On the other hand, if there are no or very few predators, frogs can thrive and will eat anything that moves past them and can fit into their mouths.

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Learn more about frog predators in this article on our blog.

Frog Lifespan is Influenced by The Environment

How long frogs live is impacted by their environment which includes climate, human activity, and latitude. Let’s have a look at each in more detail.

Frog Lifespan is Influenced By Climate

Climate plays an important role in how long frogs can live. If the climate is stable and humid, frogs can know what to expect and possibly live longer. However, if the climate is unstable, ever-changing, and provides unfavorable conditions to frogs (ie. freezing temperatures during Summer, dry spells) the frogs could die or live shorter lives.

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Frog Lifespan is Influenced By Human Activity

Human activity can play a role in influencing frog lifespan. Urbanization, pollution, and destruction of habitats can force frogs to change their mating habits, or die trying. Polluted water can genetically modify frogs, stunt their growth, or kill them. It’s very important to care for our environment and protect vulnerable species.

Frog Lifespan May be Influenced By Latitude

A study on Common Frogs across Europe found that “common frogs from subarctic regions (the northern boundary of this species distribution range) have an extremely long life span, up to at least 18 years” (Patrelle, Cecile., et al. 2012). 

The study suggests that latitude could play a role in reduced adult frog mortality rates “due to predation, reduced rate of aging due to short annual activity period in high-latitude environments.” However, the authors of the study only open the discussion for other researchers to validate these hypotheses.

Frog Lifespan May be Influenced By May Be Influenced by Size

Size plays a role in frog longevity, but it is not the main or only factor to consider. Some studies tried to challenge the assumption that body size and age are strongly correlated in adult amphibians and reptiles and instead found that “growth rate prior to the age of first breeding is a much more significant source of variance in body size than age” (Halliday, T. R. et al. 1988).

Learn more about how big or small frogs grow in this article on our blog.

Frog Lifespan May be Influenced By Gender

Some scientific studies found that, somewhat like humans, female frogs may live longer than male frogs. 

Age was estimated using phalangeal skeletochronology and was significantly higher in females than in males.

(Fabio M. Guarino, 2019)

The following table contains the maximum frog age per species per gender based on scientific research:

Frog SpeciesAdult Male (Years)Adult Female (Years)
Common Frogs5-155-18
Taurus Frog67
Mantidactylus Grandidieri45-6

How long a frog can live is influenced by many factors from the presence of food, predators, their species, environment, size, and gender. Frogs tend to live  3 to 18 years in the Wild and an average of 10 to 20 years in captivity.

Few predators, more food, and adapted, stable environmental conditions can help frogs live longer.

Common Frog Longevity Questions

How Long do Little Frogs Live? Generally, little frogs live shorter lives than large frogs like the Blanchard’s Cricket Frog that can only live up to 2 years in the wild and 4 years in captivity compared to the American Bullfrog that can live 8 to 10 years in the wild and up to 16 years in captivity.

What Is The Maximum Age of a Frog? Generally, toads are the type of frogs that can live the longest with a recorded age of 40 years in captivity. Frogs generally live much shorter lives of about 5 years in the Wild due to the abundant presence of predators.

How Long do Toads Live? Generally, toads live 10 to 20 years in the wild and can live up to 40 years in captivity. How long toads live is influenced by the presence of food and predators, their gender, environment, and size.

Sources

Casper, G. S. and Hendricks, R. (2005). Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species, M. Lannoo (ed.) University of California Press ISBN 0520235924.

Committee on the status of endangered wildlife in Canada, Assessment and Update Status Report on the Northern Leopard Frog, 2009.

Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series, Recovery Strategy for the Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi) in Canada, 2011. 

Kyoko Ento, Masafumi Matsui, Estimation of Age Structure by Skeletochronology of a Population of Hynobius nebulosus in a Breeding Season (Amphibia, Urodela). Zoological Science, 19(2):241-247 (2002). https://doi.org/10.2108/zsj.19.241. 1 February 2002.

Kumbar SM, Pancharatna K. Determination of age, longevity and age at reproduction of the frog Microhyla ornata by skeletochronology. J Biosci. 2001 Jun;26(2):265-70. doi: 10.1007/BF02703650. PMID: 11426062.

Patrelle, Cecile & Hjernquist, Mårten & Laurila, Anssi & Soderman, F. & Merila, J.. (2012). Sex differences in age structure, growth rate and body size of common frogs Rana temporaria in the subarctic. Polar Biology. 35. 1505-1513. 10.1007/s00300-012-1190-7.

Halliday, T. R., and P. A. Verrell. “Body Size and Age in Amphibians and Reptiles.” Journal of Herpetology, vol. 22, no. 3, 1988, pp. 253–265. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1564148

Guarino FM, Crottini A, Mezzasalma M, Randrianirina JE, Andreone F (2019) A skeletochronological estimate of age and growth in a large riparian frog from Madagascar (Anura: Mantellidae: Mantidactylus). Herpetozoa 32: 39-44. https://doi.org/10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35576