Belongs to: amphibians

Compare with: common frog

Marsh frog Pelophylax ridibundus


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

The largest european frog, sometimes reaching 17cm in length, introduced into Kent in 1935

Now spreading across the south-east, with strongholds at Romney Marsh and, in Essex, Rainham Marshes

They are noisy frogs, calling with a loud chuckling croak in late spring and on and off through the summer

Recognition

Mainly green in colour with a large head, pale belly and long hind legs, which give them a powerful jump

Rarely far from water, they often sunbathe beside ponds, leaping into the water with a loud plop when disturbed

Feed on insects and spiders, and larger specimens even on small rodents and other amphibians

Lifecycle

The males call to attract females by inflating sacs on the sides of their head, climbing on to the female to mate

Eggs 6–8mm in diameter are laid in a single cluster of thousands of eggs

Greyish tadpoles with light bellies reach up to 7cm long; juveniles measure up to 2.5cm on leaving the water

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton