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Common frog

Amphibian

Rana temporaria

Common frogs have smooth skin that varies in colour from grey, olive green and yellow to brown. They have irregular dark blotches, a dark stripe around their eyes and eardrum, and dark bars on their legs. They are able to lighten or darken their skin to match their surroundings.

This species is widespread in mainland Britain. Common frogs are most active at night, and hibernate during the winter in pond mud or under piles of rotting leaves, logs or stones. They can breathe through their skin as well as their lungs.

In spring males croak to attract females. The male embraces a female and fertilises her eggs as she lays them in shallow, still water – frogspawn is a familiar sight. Tadpoles hatch, and over about 14 weeks gradually change into froglets: a process known as metamorphosis.

What does it eat?

Adults eat insects that they catch with their long, sticky tongue, snails, slugs and worms. Young tadpoles feed on algae, but then become carnivorous.

When will I see it?

February to October.

Where will I see it?

By the pond, in the meadow area and sometime the woodland area. Also by lakes, canals, meadows and woodland.

Vital statistics

Length: 6-10 cm

Calendar

Not seen in JanuarySeen in FebruarySeen in MarchSeen in AprilSeen in MaySeen in JuneSeen in JulySeen in AugustSeen in SeptemberSeen in OctoberNot seen in NovemberNot seen in December

Key to calendar