Common frog Rana temporaria

Common frogs are amphibians, coming to ponds to breed during the spring and spending much of the rest of the year feeding on dry land, in woodland, gardens, hedgerows and tussocky grassland.  They are typically brown or grey with smooth skin and long back legs covered in dark bands. Common frogs hop and jump rather than walking.


Frogs are a familiar inhabitant of garden ponds, where they lay their eggs in big clumps of spawn. They feed on a variety of invertebrates and smaller amphibians. Females are bigger than males.


Length: 8cm Average

Lifespan: 5-10 years


Common.Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.


A common and widespread species found throughout the country, except for some Scottish islands, the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands.

When to see

February – October


  • Male common frogs have nuptial pads on their front feet to help them grip on to females during the breeding season. The male frog will wrap itself around a female and fertilise her eggs as they are produced; a female frog may lay up to 4,500 eggs in one spring! Frogs can spawn as early as December or as late as April depending on the weather.
  • Common frogs can breathe through their skin as well as their lungs and can lighten or darken their skin to blend in with their surroundings.

Common name

Common frog

Species name

Rana temporaria

IUCN Red List status

Least concern

When to see in Scotland

February – October

Where to see in Scotland

Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves such as Loch of the Lowes or Shewalton wood.

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