Species in Focus

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  • Common Frog
  • Common Frog
  • Common Frog

Common nameCommon frog
Scientific nameRana temporaria (Linnaeus, 1758)
Irish nameFrog

The Common Frog is the one of three species of amphibian found in Ireland. Two formal conservation assessments have been done for the species. In 2007 a reports under Article 17 of the EU Habitats Directive (NPWS, 2008) concluded that whereas the population, range and future prospects of the species were good, local damage to its wetland habitats meant its overall conservation status was poor in the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland's Red List No. 5: Amphibian, Reptiles and Freshwater Fish (King, J. L. et al, 2011) concluded that the species in Ireland is of Least Concern, meaning that it is not threatened with extinction.

Over most of the country this is unmistakable as it is the only species of frog that occurs in Ireland. Could be confused with the Natterjack Toad in the Dingle and Iveragh peninsulas, but the latter species has a yellow band running down the middle of the back and has a general ‘warty’ appearance. The spawn of frogs is laid in clumps whereas that of the Natterjack Toad is laid in strips.

Adaptable species with broad range of habitats used and catholic diet (Marnell, 1998). Have adapted well to garden ponds in UK. Spawns in early spring and then spends rest of the year on land. Tadpoles metamorphose in early summer and may spend 2 or 3 years on land before reaching sexual maturity. Hibernates, typically from November to February. Tadpoles, young frogs and adult frogs all subject to significant levels of predation and populations subject to local booms and declines (Beebee & Griffiths, 2000).

Some evidence of habitat loss (particularly pond loss) in Ireland, but no evidence of population decline. Concerns in UK and elsewhere arising from disease‐related mass mortality – Ranavirus and chytrid fungal disease (Teacher et al., 2010). No evidence of causative agents from Ireland (King, J.L., et al. 2011).

Very widespread species, occurring from Greece and Spain in the south to the far north of Norway; found in all European countries bar Portugal (Gasc et al., 1997). 50,158 records of this species are mapped on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility data portal.

The species is widespread and common throughout Ireland, found in every county, from sea level to uplands (Marnell, 1999). As of beginning of January 2013, there were 4008 records of Common Frog on Biodiversity Maps. This includes records from all months of the year, but the majority of records are from February and March coinciding with its mating and spawn laying period (Shown in sightings by month graph below). Records are available for 707 10km squares. The earliest record in the database is from 1845. Click on the map below to access the records.

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is trying to improve our knowledge on the distribution and spawning time of the Common Frog in Ireland. Should you observe frogs, or frog spawn, please submit sighting to add to the database. Detailed observations will assist us gaining a better insight into where frogs are most abundant in Ireland and we might also be able to detect regional variation in spawning period. Please submit any sightings and photographs. All records submitted on line can be viewed on Google Maps below – once checked and validated these will be added to the Amphibian and Reptiles of Ireland Database and made available for conservation and research.

Please submit any sightings by clicking on the "Submit" button.

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.

For further information on the Common Frog see:

  • Beebee, T.J.C. & Griffiths, R.A. (2000) Amphibians and reptiles. The New Naturalist. HarperCollins Publishers, London.
  • Gasc, J.P., Cabela, A., Crnobrnja‐Isailovic, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher, K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martínez Rica, J.P., Maurin, H., Oliveira, M.E., Sofianidou, T.S., Veith, M. & Zuiderwijk, A. (eds), (1997) Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Europe. Societas Europea Herpetologica & Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • King, J.L., Marnell, F., Kingston, N., Rosell, R., Boylan, P., Caffrey, J.M., FitzPatrick, Ú., Gargan, P.G., Kelly, F.L., O’Grady, M.F., Poole, R., Roche, W.K. & Cassidy, D. (2011) Ireland Red List No. 5: Amphibians, Reptiles & Freshwater Fish. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Marnell, F. (1998) Discriminant analysis of the terrestrial and aquatic habitat determinants of the smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris) and the common frog (Rana temporaria) in Ireland. Journal of Zoology 244: 1‐6.
  • Marnell, F. (1999) The distribution of the common frog Rana temporaria L. in Ireland. Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society 23: 60 – 70.
  • NPWS (2008) The Status of EU Habitats and Species in Ireland. Conservation Status in Ireland of Habitats and Species listed in the European Council Directive on the Conservation of Habitats, Flora and Fauna 92/43/EEC. Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government, Dublin.
  • Teacher, A. G. F., Cunningham., A. A. & Garner, T. W. J. (2010) Assessing the long‐term impact of Ranavirus infection in wild common frog populations. Animal Conservation 13 (2010) 514–522

For further information contact Dr. Liam Lysaght (llysaght@biodiversityireland.ie).