14 Types of FROGS Found in Europe! (w/Pics)

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

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!

14 types of frogs that live in Europe:


#1. African Clawed Frog

  • Xenopus laevis

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 Europe. 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. 

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

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. Iberian Painted Frog

  • Discoglossus galganoi

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.

Look for Iberian Painted Frogs in Europe in small bodies 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. While native to northern Africa, they have been released into parts of Western Europe.

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, it can 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. Parsley Frog

  • Pelodytes punctatus

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 Europe near open water with plenty of sunlight. They prefer sandy or limestone-rich soil. 

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.


#4. Common Tree Frog

  • Hyla arborea

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.

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

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!


#5. Common Frog

  • Rana temporaria

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 Europe.

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.

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.


#6. Moor Frog

  • Rana arvalis

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. 

Although they’re less colorful outside the breeding season, Moor Frogs in Europe 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.


#7. Iberian Stream Frog

  • Rana iberica

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 6 cm long.
  • This species has a blunt snout, partially webbed feet, and large eyes with horizontal pupils.
  • Their coloring is brown overall, with black mottling and some white spots.
  • A dark black patch behind the eye is underlined in white.

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

Iberian Stream Frogs prefer the fast-moving, oxygenated water of streams and small rivers. They’re a high-elevation species and sometimes even occur above the tree-line in mountain areas. Most individuals of this species hibernate during the cold season, but some Iberian 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!


#8. Agile Frog

  • Rana dalmatina

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!

Look for Agile Frogs in Europe 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.


#9. Pool Frog

  • Pelophylax lessonae

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.

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. 


#10. Edible Frog

  • Pelophylax kl. esculentus

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 Europe.

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!

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. 🙂


#11. Marsh Frog

  • Pelophylax ridibundus

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 Europe in deep ponds, lakes, and larger rivers.

These large, loud frogs are hard to miss!

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.


#12. Iberian Water Frog

  • Pelophylax perezi

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 Europe in permanent water bodies.

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

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.


#13. Graf’s Hybrid Frog

  • Pelophylax kl. grafi

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 Europe in deep, permanent water bodies.

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

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.


#14. American Bullfrog

  • Lithobates catesbeianus

Types of Frogs that live in United States

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 Europe!

But, as its name suggests, it’s not a native resident. Instead, the American Bullfrog was introduced to Europe, 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.

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 Europe, check out this field guide!

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Do you want to learn more about animals in Europe?

Check out these other ID Guides!


Which of these frogs have you seen before in Europe?

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