The Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
Common Frogs © P. King
This is our most common amphibian. It is familiar to most people and is found in gardens, ponds, marshland, fields and damp meadows, anywhere close to water. Its range covers most of central and northern Europe.
Common frogs are 8-10 cm in length with smooth skin. The body colour is yellow to reddish brown with a dark blotch behind the eye and brown stripes around the back legs. The body colouration can vary a great deal.
Frogs prey on slugs, worms and other invertebrates.
During winter they hibernate in the mud at the bottom of ponds, emerging in early spring to mate. Occasionally they will gather in huge numbers at this time. They lay their eggs, known as frogspawn, in large clumps in the shallower parts of ponds. Tadpoles hatch, and feed and grow in the water, during which time they gradually develop limbs, after 2-3 months undergoing a complete metamorphosis and emerging from the water as tiny frogs.
Frog life cycle. Courtesy of English Nature