© 2006 Wouter Beukema (1 of 31)
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Republic of, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine. Introduced: Spain, United Kingdom.
Rana lessonae inhabits deciduous and mixed forests. The frog penetrates steppe within forests and bushlands (e.g. riparian alder groves). It occurs primarily in stagnant water bodies such as lakes, ponds, swamps, large puddles and ditches, generally covered with dense herbaceous vegetation. The pools may be located within the forests, in glades and forest edges, in fields and flooded meadows. The frog occasionally stays in shallow pools along small rivers and streams. The presence of permanent water is necessary for the existence of R. lessonae populations. In the forest zone, when the air humidity is high, the frog frequently occurs on land far away from water bodies. Using chains of small ponds, the frog can migrate distances of up to 8 km.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Tadpoles consume primarily algae: Cyanophyta, Chlorophyta etc. Juveniles eat large amounts of flies and fly larvae. They sometimes climb plant leaves (at a height up to 0.5 m) to forage. The food of adults consists mainly of terrestrial invertebrates (mainly insects). Aquatic organisms (Gerridae, Dytiscidae etc.) comprise usually less than a half of prey items. Feeding does not cease during the breeding season. The Pool Frog is not as voracious as the taxonomically and ecologically similar Marsh Frog (R. ridibunda), evidently due to its smaller body size. However, different amphibians and even juvenile grass snakes are consumed time by time.
Trends and Threats
R. lessonae went extinct in england in the mid 1990's. Reintroduction attempts using populations from Norway and Sweden (started in 2005) appear to have been successful (John W. Wilkinson & John Buckley, FrogLog 2012).
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
Gunther, R. (1990). Die Wasserfrosche Europas. A. Ziemsen, Wittenberg-Lutherstadt.
Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
Nikolsky, A. M (1936). Fauna of Russia and Adjacent Countries: Amphibians (English translation of Nikolsky, 1918, Faune de la Russie et des Pays limitrophes. Amphibiens. Académie Russe des Sciences, Petrograd, USSR). Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
Nikolsky, A. M. (1906). Herpetologia Rossica. Mémoires de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, Série 8, Phys.-Math, Vol. 17, Sofia, Moscow.
Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
Terent'ev, P. V. and Chernov, S. A (1965). Key to Amphibians and Reptiles [of the USSR]. Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem.
Written by Sergius L. Kuzmin, John Cavagnaro (ipe51 AT yahoo.com), Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
First submitted 1999-11-10
Edited by Meredith J. Mahoney (2012-04-02)
Feedback or comments about this page.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.