The common water or edible frog (Rana esculenta) is the most common species of frog in Europe. It is a member of the Ranidae family, is greeny-brown in colour and an adult measures around 12 centimetres in length. It resides in ponds, lakes, streams, areas rich in vegetation, which provide shelter. Herons, pike and snakes are its main predators.
Its comes out of hibernation in March, when it reinhabits the waterside or the surface of waterlillies. We hear it mostly in summer, day and night. To attract females, the males sing mainly at the end of the day or during the night. After coupling, these then lay jelly-like clusters in the middle of plants. These clusters contain thousands of eggs . Tadpoles appear after a few days and they remain in the water until the following spring, when they metamorphose into frogs.
This frog is a popular attraction around the ornamental lake or pond. It feeds mainly on insects, capturing them by leaping up to 30 cms. in the air. It also adores earthworms, snails and slugs, and even eats other batrachians.
When the cold returns in November it goes into hibernation either in the mud or in a small tunnel dug underground.
How to attract frogs to the garden ?
Be warned – if your pond is home to a colony of frogs, your summers will be noisy ! But they do provide an entertaining water show. Both young and old adore watching them catch the passing insects.
To attract them to your pond :
- Place boulders around the pond – these provide shelter for them in winter, and also attract insects who like dark, humid places.
- Install many plants around the sides of the pond.
- Plant varoius flowers with different flowering periods, stretching from March to November. Flowers attract pollen-gathering insects like bees, bumblebees and butterflies.
- Plant many aquatic plants in the pond to give them a sense of security. They need to be protected from predators.
- If you wish to move the boulders in winter, do so carefully as a toad or a frog may be hibernating beneath them.
The frog is a protected species
It is perfectly safe to handle a frog. But remember that all batrachians and reptiles are strictly protected in France, as are their biotopes. It is forbidden to remove them from their habitat.