Males up to 46 mm, females up to 51 mm. Head wider than long. Distance between nostrils more than distance between eyes. Nostrils closer to snout than to eyes. Dark mask not very obvious. Small ear-drum not very prominent. Relatively long fore and hind limbs. The hind feet are fully webbed. Weak internal metatarsal tubercle, 1/4-1/2 length of the first hind toe. Smooth skin. Narrow dorsolateral fold, from eye to vent. Upper parts creamy-white and olive gray colored with darker markings not very apparent. Some individuals present a "V" inverted-shaped design. Some individuals are reddish colored. The eyes are golden yellow with dark spots. Underparts pale, with a pinkish-greyish flush color on throat. Yellowish belly during the springtime and bluish during the summer. The ventral sides of the hind legs are colored red during the breeding season.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: France, Spain
Endemic from the Pyrenean mountains, occurs rarely in France, in Spain between the Ordesa NP (Huesca) and the Roncal Valley (Navarra). Separate populations.
Its altitudinal distribution ranges from 800 to 2100 m, occurring more frequently from 1000 to 1800 m (usually the level of mixed, deciduous, and coniferous forests). Stream dwellers that do not inhabit ponds or lakes. It selects streams with oxygenated, cold limpid waters, fully rocky and poor in vegetation. Occurs frequently with Euproctus asper, more rarely with Rana temporaria.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Active from February to July, with temperatures from 3.7 a 20.3 ºC. Adults largely aquatically, juveniles usually found on shores. Active also during the day, buy always close to streams.
Breeding begins when snow melts, usually from February to April. Their weak calls carry only a short distance. The call is formed by low-pitched grunts of a low intensity. Eggs are about 3.2 mm in size, with large and black embryos, and enclosed in a dense envelope of jelly. The eggs do not float to the surface. Females lay as many as 150 eggs, sometimes in several clusters. Eggs are laid under stones, in fissures, and sometimes on the stream/river bottom when the water current is low. Hatchlings are about 10.6 mm in length.
Trends and Threats
In Huesca the species looks endangered, with confirmed local extinctions. Fish introductions, pollution and habitat alterations are the most relevant problems.
Relation to Humans
The species is occasionally found in small artificial pools or puddles with renewed limpid water.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
Predators (natural or introduced)
Barbadillo, L. J., Lacomba, J. I., Pérez-Mellado, V., Sancho, V., and López-Jurado, L. F. (1999). Anfibios y Reptiles de la Península Ibérica, Baleares y Canarias. Geoplaneta, Barcelona.
Llamas, A., Martínez-Gil, O., and Arribas, O. (1998). ''Rana pyrenaica, a new species for the French herpetofauna.'' Boletín de la Asociación Herpetológica Española, 9, 12-13.
Salvador, A. and García-París, M. (2001). Anfibios Españoles. Identificación, Historia Natural y Distribución. Canseco Editores, Madrid.
Serra-Cobo, J. (1993). ''Descripción de una nueva especie europea de rana parda (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae).'' Alytes, 11, 1-15.
Serra-Cobo, J. (2002). ''Rana pyrenaica Serra-Cobo, 1993.'' Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Anfibios y Reptiles de España. J. M. Pleguezuelos, R. Márquez, and M. Lizana, eds., Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza-Asociación Herpetológica Española, Madrid.
Serra-Cobo, J. and Lacroix G, W. S. (1998). ''Comparison between the ecology of the new European frog Rana pyrenaica and that of four Pyrenean amphibians.'' Journal of Zoology of London, 246, 147-154.
Originally submitted by: Jaime Bosch (first posted 2004-01-27)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-06-17)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Rana pyrenaica: Pyrenean frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5135> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 9, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 9 Dec 2022.
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