In The Night Pool III

Common Frog Rana temporaria

Out in my garden in the dark hours my torch fell on the first frog I have seen in my small pond. He or she had slime on its nose but appeared quite happy taking a dip amongst the pond plants.

Common Frog (Rana temporaria), rear garden pond, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.

Common Frog

Rana temporaria

I have always been fortunate enough to find frogs in my rear garden. During the summer months it is a pure delight to hear their nighttime frog chorus. They are one of the very first photographs of animals I took back in 2005 when I bought my first digital camera, a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W.

The males are usually smaller and darker than the females, and they have a black nuptial pad on their first finger. Its colouration is variable, but it is usually greenish brown or olive-buff with dark blotches. Common frogs are known to be able to lighten or darken their skin depending on their surroundings. It has the ability to breathe through its skins which helps enable it to hibernate for several months beneath mud and piles of dead leaves underwater. The hind feet are fully webbed, and it can jump up to half a metre in a single hop. Length 60-90mm. Weight 22.7g.

The adult Common Frog eats insects, especially flies, slugs and snails, and other invertebrates, although it doesn’t feed during the mating season. The female lays up to 4,000 eggs in shallow water surrounded by transparent jelly. Tadpoles hatch about two to four weeks later. By the time they are three months old they have developed arms and legs and are adapted to living on land. They can live up to 8 Years.

It likes freshwater habitats like ponds and open woods, but needs slow-moving water.  Mating pairs and masses of frog spawn are a common sight in most ponds. A common and widespread species.

Photographs taken August 2005, April 2007, June 2008 and July 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire.