The Moor Frog (Rana arvalis) is a slim, reddish-brown, semi-aquatic amphibian native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the family Ranidae, or "true frogs".
They are small frogs, characterized by an unspotted belly, a large, dark ear spot and - often, not always - a pale stripe down the center of the back. They are generally described as a reddish-brown, but can also be yellow, gray, or light olive. Their bellies are white or yellow and they have a "bandit-like" black stripe going from their nose to their ears. They vary from 5.5 to 6 cm long but can reach up to 7 cm in length and their heads are more tapered than those of the European Common frog, (Rana temporaria). The skin on their flank and thigh is smooth and the posterior part of their tongue is forked and free. They have horizontal pupils, their feet are partially webbed and their back legs are shorter than those of other species of frogs. The males are different from the females because of the nuptial pads on their first fingers and their paired guttural vocal sac.
The frogs can be found inhabiting an area stretching from the lowlands of Central and South Europe to Siberia. The countries it lives in are: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine. However, it is believed that they are extinct in Switzerland and maybe Siberia as well. It is possible that the records of frogs being in Siberia at all were in error. Alsace, France constitutes the western boundary of their territory.
The types of land they can inhabit are greatly varied. They live in tundra, forest tundra, forest, forest steppe, and steppe, forest edges and glades, semi-desert, swamps, meadows, fields, bush lands, gardens. They prefer areas untouched by humans such as damp meadows and bogs, but they still may be able to live in agricultural and urban areas
Moor frogs will hibernate somewhere between September and June, depending on the latitude of the location. Frogs in southwestern, plain areas will disappear later (around November or December) and return earlier (February). Frogs in cold, polar areas though will disappear sooner (in September) and return later (in June)
The mating season takes place between March and June right after the end of hibernation. Males form breeding choruses and they have a song that sounds similar to that of the Agile Frog, (Rana dalmatina). The call they make can "sound like air escaping from a submerged empty bottle: 'waug.…waug….waug'. Males can also develop bright blue coloration for a few days during the season.
The spawning happens very quickly and is completed in 3 to 28 days. The spawn of each frog is laid in one or two clusters of 500-3000 eggs in warm, shallow waters like in ponds.
Metamorphosis happens between June and October. Larvae are about 45 mm long and colored dark with small metallic dots. When they become tadpoles they will eat algae and small invertebrates. The adult frogs' feeding is halted during the breeding season, but their diet consists of insects and various invertebrates.
When moor frogs are on land and sense a threat they will make a large jump and bury themselves in soil or grass.
In the UKEdit
The Moor frog is breeding throughout Scotland and in a small area of Wales. In the UK it may be often be mistaken for a common frog as they look vary simular. Through scientific studies it has been poven that this frog was once native to Scotland hundreds of yrs ago.