You can help us support the

Common Frog

All you need to know ...

Information

The common frog is one of Britain’s best known amphibians and can be found across the UK. These semi-aquatic animals are usually seen in shallow ponds in spring as they congregate to reproduce, although they actually spend half the year on land.

Ponds in urban and sub-urban areas provide over a million UK breeding sites for the common frog. This is where you will find the frogspawn, tadpoles and tiny froglets as they grow. The common frog plays an important role within this ecosystem by:
  • Helping to control the insect population
  • Providing food for birds, reptiles and mammals (including hedgehogs!)

Frogs spend the winter hibernating in sheltered spots in gardens, grassland and woodland under rocks, logs and in leaf piles. They can also hide in the mud at the bottom of ponds to hibernate because they can breathe in water through their skin!

  • The common frog in a pond
  • The common frog
  • The common frog
  • Frogspawn from the common frog
  • The common frog in a pond
  • The common frog
  • The common frog
  • Frogspawn from the common frog

Common frogs can travel up to a kilometre from their breeding pond to find suitable areas for hibernation.

HOW CAN I HELP?

There are lots of useful things that you could do in your garden to help frogs and other amphibians. Roads, fences and walls can all cause issues for frogs, but we can help by creating small wildlife passageways in garden fences, so that they can travel and explore freely.

Garden ponds are the best way to help frogs. Think about how best to manage it for a range of wildlife and watch it thrive. If you don’t have space for a pond, try providing refuges for frogs in your garden by leaving autumn leaves piled in a hidden corner, or create a small pile of logs somewhere.


Naturespace actions you can take
  • Make a wildlife pond

    Find out how to support frogs through creating and maintaining a pond
  • Create wildlife passageways

    Make gaps in your fence or gates to help frogs move through gardens
  • Leave your leaves, pile up logs & start composting

    Provide frogs with a hibernation area over winter
  • Put away the pesticides

    Find eco-friendly ways to look after your Naturespace
  • Pull up your paving

    Offer more green space for frogs and other wildlife
Common frog

Vital Statistics

Scientific name: Rana temporaria

Appearance: smooth moist skin, greenish brown colour, dark patch behind the eyes, long striped legs
Length: 6 - 10cm

Frogspawn: free-floating clumps of up to 200 eggs in ponds and non-moving water bodies, distinctive black dot in the centre of each egg

Common frog

Habitat & Diet

Common frogs are aquatic during the mating season from February to June, when they live in ponds and seasonal water bodies. During the rest of the year, frogs are largely terrestrial, which means that they live on land. They can be found in damp places such as marshes and grassland. Garden ponds are vital for common frog populations. Over winter they shelter under rocks or logs, at the bottom of ponds and in compost heaps or leaf piles for hibernation.

The diet of the adult common frog is made up of invertebrates such as snails, slugs, worms and insects. Common frog tadpoles feed mainly on algae in the water.

Common frog

Breeding

Breeding occurs in early spring, when adults emerge from their overwintering location and travel to a pond. Once mated, females lay clumps of spawn in the shallow waters of the pond. After around 30 – 40 days, black tadpoles will emerge and change to a speckled-brown colour as they develop. Metamorphosis into froglets begins at around 16 weeks old when their back legs start to grow, shortly followed by the front legs. The final stage of this change occurs when the tail is fully absorbed and the froglets leave the water to begin the terrestrial phase of their life.

Help support the common frog in your Naturespace

©Earthwatch 2018  

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Unless otherwise credited, all illustrations © Chris Shields, and all wildlife photographs © Steven Falk
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