Frog habitats

There are three features that are important considerations in frog habitats in order for the frogs to be able to thrive, and they are:

  • Temperature
  • Rainfall
  • Geography

When looking at frog habitats, we can see that only a few species of frogs will live near a vast body of water such as a lake. Typically, rivers, swamps and forests provide a more hospitable environment for frogs to live. The main reason for there not being too many species found in lakes is that a very small proportion of frogs are totally aquatic, ie live in the water all of the time.

There are exceptions though, and the Lake Titicaca frog is one of them. Another is the Xenopus species which can be found in Africa. Aquatic frogs have heavily webbed hind feet and have eyes and nostrils that are found on the top of the head. They are usually brown or grey in colour.

Swamps and marshes are good places for frogs to live and many varieties can be found in such areas. The frogs that live in the swamps usually live and hunt for food around the edges of the swamps and do so by clinging to local vegetation such as reeds. They live beside the water and use the water as a quick and handy means of escape from predators!

Frogs that live here can lay their eggs in the water, but others will lay spawn on the vegetation.

Frog habitats

Tropical rainforests are the preferred choice of many frogs

Rivers are a popular with frogs as a place in which to set up home. The humidity levels are continuously high which suits the frog, and the river also serves as a handy means of escape again from predators. There are of course fast moving rivers, which are popular with frogs and slower moving rivers are popular with other varieties of frogs such as the Ranids. Those frogs that prefer the fast moving rivers usually have very webbed feet and big powerful hind limbs and stretched out discs on their ‘fingers’.

Frogs do love a swamp

There are also frogs that prefer to live in the forests; especially tropical forests. There are a great deal of different species of frogs that live in the forest and this is because there are many levels within the forest, ie the upper canopy levels, right down to ground level. Here, the frogs are quick to be able to hide away under leaf rubble, and as such it can be difficult to know exactly how many different types of frogs live in the area. There are many micro-habitats in the forest due to the higher and lower levels. It is because of these different micro-habitats, that there are so many different species living here.  (visit the page on frog facts to find out more about frogs in general).

There are some species of frogs that live up in the mountains. However, the lack of water can be a problem for breeding. If there are cloud forests (forests that are constantly under the cover of clouds that actually plunge down into the trees and create moist, misty conditions) then arboreal frogs are likely to be found. They are frogs that have pads on the feet to help them cling to vertical surfaces. Some of these frogs can breed without the need for water, instead laying eggs that develop directly or which are carried on the female’s back.

Deserts are generally not hospitable places as frog habitats because of the fact that frogs have permeable skin. Again though, there are exceptions, and some frogs do live in dry desert conditions because they have evolved in such a way that their lifestyles enable them to survive through long periods of drought.  The Sonoran Desert toad lives in underground retreats for a lot of the year, though just before monsoon season they start to come out more frequently.  

A good frog habitat - a small babbling brook with stones and sloping, shallow sides for frogs to gain access to the waterA perfect place to go find frogs
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