Tree-frogs and Agile frogs

As Andrew Gray is an amphibian specialist we dedicated some time on Corfu to search for frogs. The island is not rich in amphibians but our efforts did produce a total of five different species. The main target was the European Tree frog (Hyla arborea) which thanks to some rain in late June we were able to find at one urban site. We could hear several males calling with the typical krak-krak-krak as we were walking through our resort in the evening. These frogs appeared to be making the most of a rain pool at the base of a construction site, not exactly a nice habitat but these animals have to make the most of any opportunity to breed. In total we found five males here, all sat calling at the water’s edge. For the second year in succession I have found tree frogs breeding in mid summer, perhaps and indication of how the environment is changing, as this species usually breeds in March and early April in Corfu. In addition we found another interesting amphibian, the Agile frog (Rana dalmatina) which has one of the longest leaps I have ever seen. Its a good job Andrew knows how to catch all types of frogs as I really struggle to get my hands on this species! Without doubt the easiest amphibians to find are the big Marsh frogs (Rana ridibunda) along with Epirus Water Frogs (Rana epeirotica) which we found in large numbers at several water sources, and we were able to catch a couple with the help of a net. The poorly recorded Smooth Newt (Triturus vulgaris) was found inside a concrete well on the Pandokrator mountain at about 900m above sea level, the first time I have seen them in this part of the island. Sadly though we were unable to find any Mediterranean Common Toads (Bufo bufo spinosus) or Green Toads (Bufo viridis), for some reason these two can be quite tricky to find on this island, but anyway we were quite happy with the frogs we had found!

The Common Tree frog (Hyla arborea)

The Common Tree frog (Hyla arborea)

Rana dalmatina

Agile frog (Rana dalmatina) which breeds in sand dune slacks on Corfu

Marsh frog (Rana ridibunda) the most common amphibian on Corfu

Marsh frog (Rana ridibunda) the most common amphibian on Corfu

By Matt Wilson

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