jccurd's picture


Observed: 5th June 2011 By: jccurdjccurd’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptilesjccurd’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptiles

Caught in mid croak with its cheek pouches inflated accompanied by a lot of water disturbance.
Not caught yet by farmer senior who has a freezer full of its relatives' legs.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


jccurd's picture

Egg on Face

Most embarrassingly, I got the location of this character wrong; it wasn't quite as far south as I first reported. I've amended the location details.

The fact that this one looks markedly different to the only other Iberian Water Frog on iSpot, gives me pause.


Masked Marvel's picture

Probably not Iberian

Not to worry John, I think it is a bit out of the range of the Iberian water frog now, although it does look well within their range of colouration.

It's hard to identify these on 'looks' alone although the fact that you can see the air sacs is a help. They are very dark, which is typical of marsh frogs Pelophylax ridibundus, however I wouldn't want to rule out this being an edible frog on the basis of this alone. It is outside of the natural range of the marsh frog but there are introductions all over France so they could turn up anywhere.

I think the safest identification would be Pelophylax sp.

jccurd's picture

Very Quick!

And thanks for that - I'm happy to go with Pelophylax sp. Also, the fact that this was in a revised location means that this is not one of those digested by our friendly farmer.

I take it from your comment that the colouration of these beasts varies quite widely, then?

Masked Marvel's picture

Very variable

Yes, all of these species vary a lot. I don't know if you know much about the genetics of these frogs, but the edible frog Pelophylax kl. esculentus is a viable hybrid between the marsh frog P.ridibundus and the pool frog P.lessonae. In southern France and the Iberian Peninsula, the Iberian water frog P.perezi takes the place of the marsh frog and the hybrid form is known as Graf's hybrid frog P. kl. grafi (which is very rare). The mechanism by which the hybridisation occurs means that the genetic material from either parent species is not 'diluted' in each subsequent generation and the hybrids can sustain themselves without either of the parent species.

All four species very variable with much overlap but it is usually possible to tell pool frogs from marsh frogs, but edible frogs can look like either of the parent species, particularly when they occur in populations where neither pool or marsh frogs occur.

Masked Marvel's picture


All of the species are traditionally eaten. The marsh frog is in fact the biggest species with the longest legs and this is probably why it has been introduced in many places across France.

jccurd's picture

I'll try to digest that.


Thanks for the effort you've put in.