Pool Frog Pelophylax lessonae
The main species in our garden is that of the Edible Frog, also known as Green Frog. It hibernates in our pond in great numbers (well over 15 individuals) and always remains in the direct vicinity of the pond. The species is bound to water much more than the Common Frog is. The females look like they are supposed to: they are mainly green, without much variation. The males on the contrary can be a very dark kind of green, almost brown and then can be mistaken for Common Frogs, but luckily they always lack the brown cheeks. The female of the Edible Frog is almost entirely green. She remains that way during the whole year. The males are almost the same, though a bit darker perhaps, but during the mating season they develop dark spots which appear almost golden at times, as can be seen in the picture to the right below. Even though they croak, European frogs don't make as irritating a noise as some of the imported American frogs do.
Frogs are extremely voracious and will do crazy things just to get a bite to eat, such as sudden high jumps, or sneaking through the water. They have a very long, sticky tongue. With it they mainly catch flying insects. They also like damsel flies, which they catch by surprise. The damsel flies are especially vunerable during the depostion of the eggs. Frogs are on the menu of many other animals. In the Benelux they are especially appreciated by some big birds: storches and herons love frogs. Even some birds of prey eat frogs, such as the Marsh Harrier. Frogs are not attacked from above only. Dangers even lure under water: big fish, such as pike and perch will eat a frog given the chance. On land the situation does not improve: adders and polecats are just two of the animals fond of frogs. Frogs are quickly disturbed by sudden movements. When you appear at our pond, they will all jump into the water. But if you don't move, you can soon see them climbing out of the water again. That's why herons move so slowly...
Actually there are three species of green frogs. The biggest is the Marsh Frog or Lake Frog (Pelophylax ridibundus). Then there is the Edible Frog (Pelophylax kl. esculentus), which is slightly smaller. The smallest species is the Pool Frog, which has been reintroduced in Britain. The interaction between these species is extremely complicated. You may want to read the articles about it in Wikipedia. We are quite certain our animals were Pool Frogs mainly, because of the quacks.
In the top picture the female, all others are males.