19 Types of FROGS Found in France! (w/Pics) (2024)

Do you want to learn about the different frogs in France?

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If so, you’ve come to the right place! In the article below, I have listed the frogs you can expect to see. For each species, you’ll find out how to identify that frog correctly, along with pictures, interesting facts, and RANGE MAPS!

#1. African Clawed Frog

  • Xenopus laevis

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 12 cm long.
  • Their flattened, oval-shaped bodies are wider at the back, with very large hind legs and completely webbed back feet.
  • Their coloring is brown, gray, or black with lighter marbling and a white or light brown belly.

As its name suggests, the African Clawed Frog is not native to France. However, it’s naturalized in many areas outside its normal African range. Look for this species in murky or well-vegetated ponds, where it eats various fish and amphibians.

African Clawed Frogs reproduce in abundance, which is why they are highly invasive outside their home range. They’re also used as laboratory animals and kept as pets. Unfortunately, these animals often escape their confinement and end up in the wild.

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This species is one of the very few poisonous frogs in France.

Its skin secretes a toxin to protect it from predators and can cause skin irritation in humans. They’re also extremely slimy, so this is one frog to avoid touching if you can!

#2. Painted Frog

  • Discoglossus pictus

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 8 cm long.
  • They have a relatively small head and protruding eyes, and their feet are minimally webbed. Their skin is smooth with just a few warts.
  • Their coloring is highly variable; shades of brown, reddish-brown, gray, and olive are all common.
  • Dark spots with lighter edges are nearly always present and sometimes form large dark patches with a light stripe down the middle of the back.

You can find Painted Frogs in France in nearly any small body of water.

Temporary ponds, low-flowing streams, and cisterns are the most likely habitats for this species. Occasionally, they’re even found in brackish water.

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Interestingly, Painted Frogs are closely associated with artificial water sources and are often found in ditches, drainage areas, and other locations frequented by humans. Unfortunately, itcan be tough to spot them because they’re shy and quick to flee from any disturbance.

Painted Frogs will estivate (become less active) during dry conditions when their water source disappears. Less frequently, they hibernate during cold snaps and then become active again as the weather warms.

#3. Tyrrhenian Painted Frog

  • Discoglossus sardus

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 7.5 cm long.
  • They have a relatively small head and protruding eyes, and their feet are minimally webbed. Their skin is smooth with just a few warts.
  • Their coloring is highly variable; shades of dark brown, gray, and olive are all common.
  • Dark spots are nearly always present and usually form bands on the legs.

Tyrrhenian Painted Frogs in France are nearly identical to Common Painted Frogs.

They share a common range and nearly all of the same qualities, aside from the differences mentioned in the Identifying Characteristics above.

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#4. Corsican Painted Frog

  • Discoglossus montalentii

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 7.5 cm long.
  • They have a relatively small head and protruding eyes, and their feet are minimally webbed. Their skin is smooth with just a few warts.
  • Their coloring is typically very dark brown. Slightly lighter brown spots are nearly always present and usually form bands on the legs.

Corsican Painted Frogs in France are nearly identical to Tyrrhenian & Common Painted Frogs.

They cohabitate on the island of Corsica and share nearly all of the same qualities, aside from the differences mentioned in the Identifying Characteristics above.

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#5. Parsley Frog

  • Pelodytes punctatus

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 5 cm long.
  • Squat, with long back legs and unwebbed feet. Their large eyes have a golden tint and vertical pupils.
  • Their coloring is gray, green, or yellow with dark green spots. Their undersides are white, but breeding males’ throats may appear blue.

Look for Parsley Frogs in France near open water with plenty of sunlight. They prefer sandy or limestone-rich soil.

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Finding and studying Parsley Frogs is difficult because they’re nocturnal and very secretive. Turn over rocks or other objects near their water source to try and spot one during the day. If disturbed, they dive into the water and hide in the mud at the bottom.

Despite being a semi-aquatic species, Parsley Frogs are skilled climbers! The skin on their undersides is similar to a tree frog’s, which allows them to climb smooth surfaces such as plant stems and garden walls. Typically they only climb during the night.

#6. Common Tree Frog

  • Hyla arborea

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 5 cm long.
  • This species has very long, thin legs. Its toes are long with little webbing, and its horizontal pupils are set in golden brown eyes.
  • The most typical coloring is a bright grassy green, but some individuals are brownish or gray.

The Common Tree Frog has an interesting talent; it’s a bit of a meteorologist! Believe it or not, these bright green frogs were once used to determine if it was going to rain. They often croak loudly when storms draw near because they can sense the change in air pressure.

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There are only a few species of tree frog in France.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell them apart because they all look very similar, but the Common Tree Frog is the most widespread species.

You can identify it by its bright green coloring or listen for its metallic, high-pitched croaks. This little frog is so loud it can be heard from as far away as a kilometer or more!

#7. Iberian Tree Frog

  • Hyla molleri

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 5 cm long.
  • This species has very long, thin legs. Its toes are long with little webbing, and its horizontal pupils are set in golden brown eyes.
  • The most typical coloring is a bright grassy green, but some individuals are brownish or gray.

Aside from a slightly different appearance, Iberian Tree Frogs are similar to other tree frog species.

Information about this and other tree frogs in France can be found in the section on Common Tree Frogs.

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#8. Tyrrhenian Tree Frog

  • Hyla sarda

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are less than 5 cm long.
  • This species has very long, thin legs. Its toes are long with little webbing, and its horizontal pupils are set in golden brown eyes.
  • The most typical coloring is a bright grassy green, but some individuals are brownish or gray.
  • One color variation, the spotted morph, is a pale khaki color with green blotches.

Aside from a slightly different appearance, Tyrrhenian Tree Frogs are similar to other tree frog species.

Information about this and other tree frogs in France can be found in the section on Common Tree Frogs.

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#9. Stripeless Tree Frog

  • Hyla meridionalis

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 6.5 cm long.
  • This species has very long, thin legs. Its toes are long with little webbing, and its horizontal pupils are set in golden brown eyes.
  • The most typical coloring is a bright grassy green, but some individuals are brownish or gray.
  • The side stripes on other European tree frogs are noticeably absent in this species.

Aside from a slightly different appearance, Stripeless Tree Frogs are similar to other tree frog species.

Information about this and other tree frogs in France can be found in the section on Common Tree Frogs.

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#10. Common Frog

  • Rana temporaria

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 11 cm long.
  • They have a short, blunt snout and partially webbed feet.
  • Their coloring varies, from nearly black to pale brown, sometimes red or yellowish. The most typical markings are a white upper lip and a dark patch behind the eye.

The Common Frog is the most widespread frog in France.

It lives in nearly every habitat with stagnant water, including ponds, ditches, flooded meadows, and swamps. So if you have a pond in your garden, this species is most likely using it.

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Common Frogs breed explosively, meaning that hundreds of these frogs gather together and breed simultaneously. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see the bottom of entire ponds covered in frog eggs during the breeding season.

Their unusual breeding strategy means young frogs emerge in unbelievable numbers during late summer. However, some late-hatching tadpoles hibernate over winter and emerge the following spring instead.

#11. Moor Frog

  • Rana arvalis

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults typically grow up to 6 cm long, occasionally up to 8 cm.
  • Their normal coloring is pale brown with dark brown streaks. They have three ridges that run down their backs.
  • During breeding, males turn completely blue. This coloring only lasts a few days.

If you happen to see a male Moor Frog during its breeding season, you won’t mistake it for any other species. These fascinating creatures turn bright blue to advertise when they’re ready to mate! It’s incredible to see a usually plain frog take on such vivid colors.

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Although they’re less colorful outside the breeding season, Moor Frogs in France are relatively easy to find. They spend most of their time on land and are active during the day. Plus, they’re not as skittish as other species, so it’s easy to get a good look.

Moor Frogs inhabit moors, as their name suggests, but can also be found in flooded meadows, lakes, and temporary water sources.

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#12. Pyrenean Stream Frog

  • Rana pyrenaica

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 5 cm long.
  • This species has a blunt snout, partially webbed feet, and large eyes with round pupils.
  • Their coloring is brown overall, with faint black mottling on the legs.
  • A dark black patch behind the eye is underlined in white.

Pyrenean Stream Frogs prefer the fast-moving, oxygenated water of small streams. They’re a high-elevation species and sometimes even occur above the tree-line in mountain areas.

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Look for these frogs in France near small waterfalls and under rocks.

Most individuals of this species hibernate during the cold season, but some Pyrenean Stream Frogs are active all year in the right conditions.

Another way to recognize this frog is its distinctive call. It makes a hoarse, low-pitched grunt. Some observers have compared it to the sound of a burp!

#13. Agile Frog

  • Rana dalmatina

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 8 cm long.
  • This species has a slender body and long legs.
  • Coloring is light brown above, with pale cream to white on the belly. The legs are banded with dark brown or black, and they have a black patch behind the eye.

The Agile Frog is one species that has EARNED its common name. This large, light-colored frog can leap incredible distances when disturbed. It’s known to cover up to two meters in a single bound!

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Look for Agile Frogs in France on land near ditches, ponds, and flooded meadows. They are active day and night and spend most of their time hunting for beetles, their main food source.

To recognize this species’ distinct call, listen for a five- to ten-second, high-pitched cry. It often calls in a series, with each note becoming longer, higher-pitched, and further spaced.

#14. Pool Frog

  • Pelophylax lessonae

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 8 cm long.
  • This medium-sized species has large eyes, long toes, and three ridges along the back from the head to the legs.
  • Its coloring is green on the head and body, brown on the legs, with dark splotches roughly arranged in stripes.

Pool Frogs are named for their preference for very small bodies of water. Although they’re found in ponds, you’ll have more luck looking for this species in flooded ditches, collections of rainwater, and even wheel ruts on dirt roads.

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This aquatic species is active at night and during the day, and it loves the sun and spends much of its time out in the open. They forage after sunset when insects come out. Pool Frogs typically hibernate on land during cold weather. However, some individuals spend the winter underwater.

The Pool Frog has a very distinctive call that lasts for several seconds. It’s a loud rattling noise that alternates with a flat rasping. They also make a short squeaking noise to advertise their territory.

#15. Edible Frog

  • Pelophylax kl. esculentus

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 10 cm long.
  • This large species has protruding eyes, long toes, and a long, pointed snout.
  • Its coloring is green on the body and legs, with dark splotches roughly arranged in stripes. Its belly is pale.

The Edible Frog has the most fascinating origin of any frog in France.

Although the process is much more complex, in short, this species is the result of a hybrid between two frog species that then uses cloning to reproduce!

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I know this seems like science fiction! The fertile female offspring of a Pool Frog and a Marsh Frog can reproduce without using any of the breeding male’s genetic material. So, in essence, she produces clones of herself with the same DNA. Click here to read more about this interesting process called Gynogenesis.

As you may have guessed by its name, this frog is the one used to make the French delicacy of frog legs. Personally, I prefer to observe them in the wild rather than in a kitchen. 🙂

#16. Marsh Frog

  • Pelophylax ridibundus

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 15 cm long.
  • They have a pointed snout, robust body, and long, powerful legs.
  • This species’ coloring is dark green to olive, fading to brown on the sides and legs.
  • They have black blotches across the body, which form bands on the hind legs.

Look for Marsh Frogs in France in deep ponds, lakes, and larger rivers.

These large, loud frogs are hard to miss!

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Although you shouldn’t have trouble spotting a Marsh Frog, you might have a harder time identifying one. This is because it’s often confused with its close relatives, the Graf’s Hybrid Frog and the Iberian Water Frog. The Marsh Frog is the largest of the three, but the best way to differentiate these species is by your location.

You can also listen for the Marsh Frog’s distinctive voice, a series of evenly spaced metallic squeaks.

#17. Iberian Water Frog

  • Pelophylax perezi

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults can grow up to 15 cm long, but up to 12 cm is more typical.
  • They have a pointed snout, robust body, and long, powerful legs.
  • This species’ coloring is dark green to olive, fading to brown on the sides and legs.
  • They have black blotches across the body, which form bands on the hind legs.

Look for Iberian Water Frogs in France in permanent water bodies.

Although they prefer deep water, they’re also found in streams, ponds, and sometimes ditches.

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Although you shouldn’t have trouble spotting an Iberian Water Frog, you might have a harder time identifying one. This is because it’s often confused with its close relatives, the Graf’s Hybrid Frog and the Marsh Frog. The Iberian Water Frog is the smallest of the three, but the best way to differentiate these species is by your location.

You can also listen for the Iberian Water Frog’s distinctive voice, a loud rattling noise that can last for several seconds.

#18. Graf’s Hybrid Frog

  • Pelophylax kl. grafi

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults can grow up to 15 cm long.
  • They have a slightly rounded snout, robust body, and long, powerful legs.
  • This species’ coloring is dark green to olive, with black blotches across the body, which form bands on the hind legs.

Look for Graf’s Hybrid Frogs in France in deep, permanent water bodies.

The most likely places to find them are lakes and larger rivers.

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Although you shouldn’t have trouble spotting a Graf’s Hybrid Frog, you might have a harder time identifying one. This is because it’s often confused with its close relatives, the Iberian Water Frog and the Marsh Frog. In fact, this species is a hybrid of the two!

The process by which a Graf’s Hybrid Frog reproduces is fascinating. Although males and females do reproduce, none of the male’s genetic material is passed to the offspring. So, in essence, the female creates genetic clones!

Click here to read more about this interesting process called Gynogenesis.

#19. American Bullfrog

  • Lithobates catesbeianus

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Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults reach 20 cm or more in length.
  • This species has fully webbed back feet, a large, stout body, and a wide face.
  • Their coloring is typically olive green, with some individuals having gray or brown mottling or spots.

The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in France!

But, as its name suggests, it’s not a native resident. Instead, the American Bullfrog was introduced to France, most likely as an escaped pet. Fortunately, this species doesn’t pose as much risk to native frogs because it prefers deeper water, but its voracious appetite can cause problems for local ecosystems.

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Look for Bullfrogs in swamps, ponds, and lakes. These large, aggressive frogs will eat just about anything they can fit in their mouth and swallow! The list of prey includes other frogs, fish, turtles, small birds, bats, rodents, insects, crustaceans, and worms. I have personally witnessed one even trying to eat a baby duck!

They’re named for their deep call, which is thought to sound like a bull bellowing.

If you need additional help identifying frogs in France, check out this field guide!

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Do you want to learn more about animals in France?

Check out these other ID Guides!

  • The 30 MOST Common Birds Found in France!
  • The 12 Types of Snakes That Live in France! (ID Guide)
  • 48 Amazing ANIMALS to see in France! (ID guide w/ pics)

Which of these frogs have you seen before in France?

Leave a COMMENT below!

19 Types of FROGS Found in France! (w/Pics) (2024)

FAQs

What are the French frogs called? ›

Therefore, they were often referred to as 'les crapaux'. Come the Revolution, the Aristocracy fled and made their way to England, where they disparagingly called the revolutionaries 'les grenouilles' - the Frogs. Not surprisingly, the term soon swept England as a popular euphemism for the French in general.

Are frogs common in France? ›

They are present in most of France except in the South west where they are either absent or scarce. They are found in all types of habitats outside of the breeding season often far from water, although juveniles may spend summer in or around water. Diet consists of small insects, grubs, earthworms, slugs etc.

What is the largest frog in France? ›

The marsh frog is Europe's largest frog, naturally found in a wide range across Europe and east into Asia.

What are the noisy frogs in France? ›

The common tree frog can be found in most areas of France except the south, (see map) where they make use of a large range of habitats rarely descending to the ground as they tend to spend their time in bushes and small trees where their presence is often made evident by their loud singing.

What are frog legs called in France? ›

Frog legs, or cuisses de grenouille as it is known in France, are a traditional dish particularly found in the region of the Dombes (département of Ain). Eaten for over a thousand years, they have been part of the national diet of France.

What gender is frog in French? ›

The word for frog in French is grenouille. It is pronounced, 'gruhn-yoo-WEE. ' It is a feminine noun, so be sure to use feminine articles with it. For example, to say 'a frog,' you would use the feminine indefinite article: une grenouille.

What do frogs symbolize in France? ›

Frogs were a symbol of French royalty.

This one apparently has its roots among early Frankish kings, such as Clovis I.

What type of frog do the French eat? ›

Cuisses de grenouille is still an enduringly popular dish on the menus of the country's restaurant; however, with an annual consumption of around 160 million legs per year, most of France's supply of Javan giant frogs and Asian brackish frogs now comes from Indonesia.

Are frogs farmed in France? ›

Consumers of frogs' legs

In an effort to make sure this tradition doesn't disappear in France, Pierre François, frog breeder in the Drôme is one of the only ones to supply restaurants and fishmongers with his frogs. He runs an industrial farm, the only one in France.

How many frogs are eaten in France? ›

According to the letter, 4,070 tons of frozen frogs' legs are imported into the European Union every year, equivalent to 80 million to 200 million frogs. France is the largest importer, bringing in more than 3,000 tons annually.

Are frogs protected in France? ›

Frog populations native to France and the E.U. are protected against commercial exploitation; the E.U. should no longer permit the overexploitation of frog species and populations in the major supplying countries,” the scientists wrote.

Do devil frogs still exist? ›

Beelzebufo ampinga, the so-called "devil frog," may be the largest frog that ever lived. These beach-ball-size amphibians, now extinct, grew to 16 inches in length and weighed about 10 pounds. They inhabited the island of Madagascar during the Late Cretaceous, about 65 to 70 million years ago.

What is the frog that squeaks? ›

The desert frog is native to Namibia and South Africa.

What makes this amphibian special is the squeaky noise it makes, which mimics a chew toy. As opposed to other frogs that make a croaking sound to attract mates, the Desert Rain Frog makes its squeaky noises to show anger and threaten the predator.

What kind of frog barks? ›

Barking Treefrog (Hyla gratiosa)

Why were the French called frogs in WWII? ›

Before the 19th century, Frog, Froggy or Frog-eater referred to the Dutch (as they were stereotyped as being marsh -dwellers). When France became Britain's main enemy, replacing the Dutch, the epithet was transferred to them, because of the French penchant for eating frogs' legs.

Why do Americans call French frogs? ›

The French nobility that would visit Versailles apparently tended to refer to Parisians as frogs because of the swampy surroundings…and only later did the term get picked up to describe the French in general. As a possible counter attack by the Parisians they coined the word frog as a putdown for non-Parisians.

What type of frogs do the French eat? ›

Cuisses de grenouille is still an enduringly popular dish on the menus of the country's restaurant; however, with an annual consumption of around 160 million legs per year, most of France's supply of Javan giant frogs and Asian brackish frogs now comes from Indonesia.

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