Average body length for males about 74 mm and for females 83 mm. Shape typical of a green waterfrog, but with less distinct dorsolateral folds than in Rana ridibunda. Eyes closely set, long hind legs and vocal sacs at the corners of the mouth. In most frogs the back is uniformly green, often with a light green longitudinal middorsal stripe. Irregularly shaped dark green spots are randomly distributed over the back. In the loin area the flanks are yellowish. Dark transverse bands on the thighs continue onto the white underside. Vocal sacs of males are usually olive but turn dark gray to black in mating season (Noellert and Noellert 1992).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Albania, Greece
Rana epeirotica is an endemic species of the Ionian geographic zone. It occurs throughout Western Greece, including the island of Kerkyra, and in Southern Albania. The species lives in all the lower parts of the main water-bodies of the area including a variety of biotopes, such as canals connected with rivers or lakes, swampy regions of lakes and large marshes, as well as calm riverbank waters. In Albania the species occurs also in lowlands (Sarante, Vrina and Vurlu plain). The species occurs from sea level up to 500 m. It is most common in lowlands (Gasc 1997).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Rana epeirotica sometimes shares its habitat with R. ridibunda, with which it readily hybridizes. These mixed frog communities include 10 to 25% R. epeirotica and 5 to 15% of hybrids. Rana epeirotica differs in its flight behavior from R. ridibunda in that it flees onto the land instead of into the water when startled. The species calls at water temperatures from 13 to 24.5ºC. The call consists of up to 30 distinct pulses, lasting on average a total of 0.5 seconds. Pauses between calls last 0.5 to 0.9 seconds (Noellert and Noellert 1992).
Trends and Threats
The species is common and quite abundant throughout its distributional range, but as it inhabits areas where human pressure is high, several populations are endangered. Beside pollution and habitat destruction, collecting of enormous numbers for commercial purpose is the main problem (Gasc 1997).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)
Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
Written by Arie van der Meijden (amphibia AT arievandermeijden.nl), Research associate, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
First submitted 1999-09-29
Edited by Meredith J. Mahoney (2002-05-25)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2002 Pelophylax epeiroticus: Epirus water frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/5027> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 18, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Oct 2017.
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