All About Common Frogs- Common Frogs Facts & Information

About Common Frogs

Frog on rock

One of the UK’s most well known amphibian the Common Frog, is a regular visitor to garden ponds where it snacks on slugs and snails. It is these ponds where the female Common Frog will lay their eggs come breeding season. 

The Common Frog varies in colour - so you might see a brown one, a green one and sometimes even red or yellow Common Frogs. 

A semi aquatic species, the Common Frog can live in both water and on land. Often, the Common Frog can be confused for the Common Toad but there are some differences to look out for. 

Across the country, the Common Frog is widespread and can be found everywhere, except from the Scottish Highlands and they are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.

Common Frog Identification

Common Frogs are around 6 to 9 cm in size, they do vary in colour and can be anything from green to brown to yellow. In Scotland, a black and red coloured Common Frog was also found. 

This is just any old frog, the Common Frog can slightly change the colour of their smooth skin depending on its surroundings, making themselves darker or lighter to blend in better. During the mating season, male Common Frogs will turn a shade of greyish blue. 

These Common Frogs have little dark patches that cover their body and an underbelly that is lighter in colour, usually yellow or white and they have a dark mask around their eyes.

Unlike many other animal species, the male Frog is smaller than the female frog and has hard swellings called nuptial pads on their forelegs - these help them mate with females. 

Do Common Frogs Hibernate


Yes, during the winter, Common Frogs do hibernate. They will hibernate in pond mud, in compost piles and underneath rocks throughout the colder days. 

On slightly warmer days, however, the Common Frog will venture out for food. 

Common Frog Habitat

Common Frogs (Rana temporaria) are indeed versatile amphibians that can adapt to various habitats throughout their life cycle.

Commonly found in wetlands such as marshes and swamps, Frogs spend most of their time around water as these environments provide them with the moist conditions they need to survive and thrive. 

While it may not be their primary habitat, Common Frogs can also be found in grasslands, especially if they are close to water bodies. They may use these areas to forage or as corridors between grounds for feeding or breeding. 

During the crucial breeding season, the Common Frog will find home in a freshwater garden ponds across the country. A pond with slow moving water is perfect as they can lay eggs without any disturbance. 

Common Frogs can often be found in woodland areas near water sources as this provides them with shelter and protection. They’ll hide in mud or under log, leaf litter and plants. 

During the breeding season, which typically occurs in early spring, male common frogs will gather in ponds for mating. This is when they become more social, as males compete for females and both sexes engage in courtship behaviour.

Common Frog Lifespan

For Common Frogs, their lifespan can range between 5 to 10 years in the wild, under ideal conditions, some may live longer than others. 

It can also be shorter depending on factors such as predation and disease.

Common Frog Breeding

Common Frogs breed in the spring, from March to May. During this season, the males will perform a mating call to attract females. They will gather in ponds or lakes where they spawn.

Female frogs lay large clusters of eggs, ranging in size from a few hundred to five thousand, these eggs float on the surface of the water like large jelly like clumps.

After around two to three weeks, the eggs hatch and tadpoles emerge. Over several weeks, they undergo metamorphosis and gradually transform into froglets before leaving the ponds. 

Common Frog Life cycle

Throughout its life, the Common Frog goes through many physical changes to get to looking like the frog we all recognise. 

Their life cycle will typically follow these stages:

Their life will begin as ‘frogspawn’ ; these are the eggs that are laid in slow moving streams for ponds during the breeding season.After around 10 to 21 days, the eggs hatch into tadpoles and for this part of their life, they live underneath the water and have gills for breathing. During this time, they will feed on algae, detritus and other plants in the water. 

Over the next few weeks, they undergo metamorphosis. It’s in this process that they develop lungs, their tails shorten and they grow hind legs. Eventually, they will grow hind legs and no longer have a tail and froglets are born. 

It’s at this stage the froglets will leave the water and start their life on land. Although still relatively small and vulnerable, at this stage they look like adult frogs - just on a smaller scale. 

The froglets will continue to grow and mature into adult frogs. They will reach sexual maturity around two to three years of age. 

What do Common Frogs Eat?

Common Frogs have a really varied diet. Primarily, they feed on insects like beetles, flies and ants - using their long, sticky tongues to capture prey. 

They will eat worms and slugs and snails. They find these in moist habitats such as gardens and fields. 

When they are tadpoles, the Common Frog feeds on organic matter in the water. 

Common Frog Predators

With several natural predators at different stages of their life. During the tadpole and froglet stage, birds are a threat to these amphibians. Birds like herons and ducks feed on frog eggs and tadpoles, they will even feed on adult frogs if the opportunity arises. 

Mammals hunt common frogs, from otters to foxes and domestic cats, adult frogs and froglets have to be careful when both on dry land and when around water. 

Fish that live in freshwater ponds can pose a threat to frog eggs and tadpoles as they will consume the spawn and tadpoles. 

Five Facts about Common Frogs

  1. Common frogs are widespread across Europe, inhabiting a variety of habitats including woodlands, grasslands, meadows, gardens, and wetlands. They are also found in parts of Asia, particularly in temperate regions.

  2. Common Frogs can change colour depending on environmental conditions. They are typically brown or olive-green but may become darker or lighter to match their surroundings, helping them blend in and avoid predators.

  3. During the winter months, common frogs undergo hibernation to survive cold temperatures. They seek refuge in terrestrial habitats such as leaf litter, log piles, or underground burrows, where they enter a state of dormancy until warmer weather returns.

  4. Common frogs exhibit interesting breeding behaviour during the spring breeding season. Male frogs gather at breeding sites and produce a distinctive croaking call to attract females. Once mating occurs, females lay their eggs in clusters, which hatch into tadpoles.

  5. Like other amphibians, common frogs undergo metamorphosis as they transition from aquatic tadpoles to terrestrial adults. During this process, they develop lungs for breathing air, absorb their tails, and grow limbs. Metamorphosis typically takes several weeks to months to complete.