15 Types of FROGS Found in Italy! (w/Pics)

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

Types of frogs in Italy

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!

15 types of frogs that live in Italy:


#1. African Clawed Frog

  • Xenopus laevis

Common Italy frogs

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 Italy. 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 Italy.

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. Tyrrhenian Painted Frog

  • Discoglossus sardus

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.

You can find Tyrrhenian Painted Frogs in Italy 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.

Interestingly, Tyrrhenian 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.

Tyrrhenian 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

Common frogs found in Italy

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 Italy 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. Italian Tree Frog

  • Hyla intermedia

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 Italian 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 Italy.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell them apart because they all look similar. The best way to tell the Italian Tree Frog apart is its location.


#5. Tyrrhenian Tree Frog

  • Hyla sarda

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.

The Italian Tree Frog is nearly impossible to differentiate from other Tree Frogs in Italy. They look virtually the same and have the same behaviors as well. The easiest way to tell them apart is by location.


#6. Stripeless Tree Frog

  • Hyla meridionalis

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.

The Stripeless Tree Frog is nearly impossible to differentiate from other Tree Frogs in Italy. They look nearly the same and have the same behaviors as well.

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

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell them apart because they all look similar. The best way to tell the Stripeless Tree Frog apart is to look at its sides. You’ll notice it’s missing the stripes that are apparent on other species.

You can also 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. Common Frog

  • Rana temporaria

Frogs of Italy

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 Italy.

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.


#8. Italian Stream Frog

  • Rana italica

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 7 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.

Italian 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. 

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

Most individuals of this species hibernate during the cold season, but some Italian 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!


#9. Agile Frog

  • Rana dalmatina

Types of frogs in Italy

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 Italy 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.


#10. Italian Agile Frog

  • Rana latastei

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 7.5 cm long.
  • This species has a slender body and long legs.
  • Their coloring is light brown above, and the belly is white with heavy black mottling.
  • The legs are banded with dark brown or black, and they have a black patch behind the eye.

Italian Agile Frogs are virtually indistinguishable from the Agile Frog listed above. However, they have slight differences in coloring and size, which are mentioned in the above Identifying Characteristics.

For more information on this species, see the Agile Frog section.


#12. 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.


#13. 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 Italy.

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. 🙂


#14. 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 Italy 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.


#15. 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 Italy!

But, as its name suggests, it’s not a native resident. Instead, the American Bullfrog was introduced to Italy, 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 Italy, check out this field guide!

View Price Now


Do you want to learn more about animals in Italy?

Check out these other ID Guides!


Which of these frogs have you seen before in Italy?

Leave a COMMENT below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *