State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Pelophylax ridibundus (Pallas, 1771)

  • Rana ridibunda Pallas, 1771
  • Pelophylax ridibunda Pallas, 1771
Vernacular Name
Eurasian Marsh Frog, Lake frog
Conservation status
Be (III); EUHD (V)
Value of species
Pelophylax ridibundus is the central member of the P. ridibundus complex. Investigations of mitochondrial DNA suggest that populations from the southern Caucasus and Central Asia might represent a separate species. The taxonomy of Anatolian water frogs (including P. ridibundus) is still unclear; some authors suggest that the presence of P. ridibundus in Turkey cannot be established on the basis of morphometric data. This is a widespread species in western, central and eastern Europe and ranges as far eastwards as eastern Kazakhstan. There are introduced populations in the southeast United Kingdom (where the range is spreading), Switzerland, Belgium (Wallonia), Spain (Villasbuenas de Gata, Cáceres and unspecified localities in Galicia, Cataluña and Comunidad Valenciana), Siberia and Kamchatka, Russia and northwestern Xinjiang (Yining, Tacheng, Wenquan, Huocheng and Xinyuan), China. It is present throughout Turkey (although this might represent a separate taxon), possibly Syrian Arab Republic, much of Iran, northeastern Iraq and most of northern Afghanistan (absent from Pakistan). Isolated populations are present in Bahrain (it is not known as to whether or not this is an introduction) and within Saudi Arabia (relict populations in the southern Hadramaut, and an introduction at Al Kharj). Further investigations are needed into the range of the species within Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Numerous introductions have expanded the range in Siberia and Kamchatka. In Central Asia, it is often difficult to distinguish between the periphery of natural range and the areas occupied after dispersal and introductions. Numerous populations in Kazakhstan have originated through deliberate introductions from local laboratories and universities. The species was introduced into Siberia and Kamchatka through the accidental introduction of tadpoles with fish into reservoirs with warm discharge waters from electric power stations. It occurs from sea level to altitudes of around 2,500m asl. This is generally a common to abundant species where it occurs. It is a highly opportunistic amphibian, living in mixed and deciduous forests, forest steppe, and steppe and other grasslands, semi-desert and desert zones. Arid areas are largely colonized through river valleys and channels. The frog prefers open, well-warmed areas with abundant herbaceous vegetation. It is a semi-aquatic species, inhabiting (and breeding in) a wide variety of flowing and stagnant water habitats, from shallow puddles and ponds to large lakes, reservoirs, rivers and brooks. It may also be found in slightly saline water; on the northern shore of the Apsheron Peninsula (Caspian Sea), reproduction has been observed in marine water at a distance of 0.5-1m from the shore. It is present in many modified habitats.
Book reference
  • Смірнов Н., Андрющенко Т., Хлус Л. Нові надходження земноводних у фонди зоологічного музею Чернівецького університету // Сучасний музей. Наукова й експозиційна діяльність. Матеріали наукової конференції, присвяченої 145-й річниці заснування Крайового музею в Чернівцях (15 травня 2008 р.) / Ред. О. П. Затуловська, І. А. Піддубний, І. В. Скільський. – Чернівці: ДрукАрт, 2008. – С.120-124.

Taxonomic branch