One of the big wildlife events of the year in the ponds and ditches is the arrival of common frogs, following their winter hibernation. Frogs spend most of their life on land, but when they awaken from hibernation they feed and then head off to the pond and ditches to mate. The frogs feed using their long sticky tongue and can only feed on land.
Frogs can crawl on all four legs or use their large hind legs to leap. The powerful legs and webbed back feet are also perfect for swimming.
Only the male frogs can produce the soft croak in the hope of attracting a female. The call is produced by inflating the throat with air, and exhaling. Frog wrestling often takes place when there are lots of frogs in the water and eventually a male will pair with a female and protect her from the advances of other males.
Identifying common frogs can sometimes be confusing as not all common frogs are the same colour. In fact they can range from brownish – green, to sandy coloured, red or even black.
Males and females common frogs look the same but there are a few clues you can look for. The female common frogs are often a bit larger than the male and the female has a darker throat, while the male’s throat is often white.
The front feet of a male frog have a special swelling, like a soft pad, that helps the male to hold onto the female frog
A female common frog may lay between 1000 and 2000 eggs with a clump we call frogspawn. Common frogs prefer to lay their eggs on the shallow edges of a pond. The frogs only remain in the ponds and ditches until spawning has finished then they leave the water and spend most of their time on land.
We have a pond at our academy, but we have only seen baby fish. We will have a look for frog spawn over the coming weeks.
Hello Robsack. Great to hear that you have a school pond. Sometimes frogs lay their spawn and it sinks before anyone sees it, so also keep an eye out for tadpoles over the next few weeks.
You mention that you have baby fish in your pond. Do you know if they are wild native fish or if they are a type of goldfish? (pet fish)
Is there some way to reintroduce frogs to our irrigation ditch at back of our property (it feeds from a larger ditch nearby). In the past you could sit out at night and hear the croak of frogs constantly. I would love to have that again.