Common Parsley Frog

The Common Parsley Frog (Pelodytes punctatus) Is a species of frog that ranges from Spain up to the North of France, including
France, Spain, Portugal and a small part of Northwestern Italy. It is found in open, semi-open, and even arid landscapes that are usually made up of Pine and Holm oak stands. They also prefer areas with rich calcium deposits in the soil. It can be found from sea level to the middle mountainous regions. It hibernates from November to March in the northern part of its range, but do not hibernate at all in the south.

Adult males are only 1.4 inches long; females are slightly larger at 1.75 inches long. The upper side is variable in color, with irregular green patches on a light brown-gray or light olive background. The back is dotted with elongated warts, often in longitudinal rows that can be orange along the flanks. There is a small gland behind the eyes and above the tympanum. The underside is white, and around the pelvis yellowy orange. In the mating season, males develop dark swellings on the insides of their digits and forelimbs, as well as on the chest. The males’ forelimbs are stronger than females’.

In France, the breeding season lasts from the end of February to early April. in Portugal, it is from November to March. In
Andalusia, this Parsley Frog may spawn several times a year. For laying places, it prefers weedy ponds and sometimes streams. The males create a relatively quiet croaking noise with the help of their paired inner vocal sacs, under water. The females may respond with a “kee, kee” sound. During mating, the male grabs the female around the waist with its front limbs, not under the arms, as other species of frogs do. For laying the eggs, the couple will seek a vertical twig or reed in the water, on which the female attaches an egg mass only a few centimeters long, containing 40 to 300 eggs. These are dark gray to black on top and covered in jelly. The tadpoles need approximately three months until metamorphosis if no hibernation intervenes.

During the day, the animals rest under stones or in burrows that they dig. They can also climb reasonably well. They hunt insects at night, and are predated by barn owls, amongst others.

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