AmphibiaWeb - Rana amurensis
Rana amurensis
Siberian Wood Frog
Subgenus: Rana
family: Ranidae
genus: Rana

Sergius Kuzmin
© PENSOFT Publishers (1 of 1)

AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status Red Data Books of the Middle Urals (Perm and Sverdlovsk Province) and the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous County, both in Russia.



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (4 records).

Vomerine teeth present. Posterior part of the tongue free and forked. Toes webbed. Omosternum and sternum ossified. Pupil of the eye horizontal. Snout moderately sharp. Male vocal sacs reduced. Shins (knee to ankle) shorter than body by 1.75-2.4 times; when the shins are positioned perpendicularly to the body axis, the heels contact or slightly overlap. When the hind leg is stretched along the body, the tibio-tarsal articulation does not usually reach the eye. Inner metatarsal tubercle small, 2.3-5.6 times shorter than first toe. Dorsal coloration greyish or grey-brown with small dark spots. Temporal spot large. Light middorsal band with distinct edges extends from eye to cloaca. Flank and thigh skin granular; granulae often red. Belly white or white-yellowish with large, irregular, partially fused blood-red spots. The red spots may alternate with dark spots, and the red pattern on the belly starts to form in about the second year of life. Males differ from females by having dark nuptial pads on the first finger.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China, Kazakhstan, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russian Federation


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (4 records).
Rana amurensis lives in West and East Siberia, the Russian Far East, Korea, Northern and Central Mongolia, and Northeastern China. This is one of the most widespread amphibians of the Palearctic. The northern margin of the range runs in Russia: northeastwards from Sverdlovsk Province (the westernmost localities are environs of Turinsk Town: 58º02'N, 63º41'E and Lenino Village in Tavda District) to Tyumen Province (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous County, lower Irtysh River - northwards along the rivers Irtysh and Ob to Batovo Village and Pasnokort Settlement in Oktyabrsk District - Yamal-Nenets Autonomous County, Nadymskii Nature Wildlife Sanctuary: ca. 65º33'N, 72º29'E). Then the margin turns southeastwards to the southern part of the Krasnoyarsk Region (Boguchan District) and Irkutsk Province (area of the Ust-Ilim Town: 58º00'N, 102º36'E). Then the margin runs northeastwards in Yakutia, approximately along the line: upper flow of the Vilyui River - upper flow of the Markha River - Zhigansk Town on the Lena River (ca. 67ºN, 124ºE) - upwards by the Lena River to Siktyakh and Buuru settlements - Khaiyr Lake in the lower Omoloi River area (ca. 71ºN, 133ºE). Then the margin runs southeastwards approximately along the line: Verkhoyansk District, Tylgys Settlement (30 km north of the Arctic Circle) - Verkhnekolymsk District, Usun-Kyuyol Settlement (ca. 67º40'N, 155ºE) - Magadan Province (Srednekansk District, Balygychan and Seimchan Settlements, ca. 63ºN, 152ºE). Then the margin runs southwards to the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk. There is some information on the occurrence of this frog even further north than the known localities. This information needs further verification.

The southern margin of the range runs in Russia approximately along the line: Sverdlovsk Province (Turinsk Town) - northeast of Kurgan Province - south of Tyumen Province - Omsk Province - Novosibirsk Province - Gornyi Altai Republic (right bank of the lower Katun River, foothills of Altai Mountains: ca. 52ºN, 86ºE) - Kemerovo Province - Khakassia Republic - south of the Krasnoyarsk Region - southwest of Irkutsk Province - Republic of Buryatia, then to Mongolia (forest steppe and steppe zones: Kharkhorin Town - Tuul River - Kherleen River), China (Inner Mongolia Autonomous District, as well as Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and Shaanxi provinces) and Korea. Both the northern and southern margins of the distribution need further exploration. The rarity and sporadic distribution of the species in those areas provide obstacles for such exploration.

Rana amurensis lives in coniferous, mixed, and deciduous forests, within which it penetrates the tundra and forest steppe zones. It occurs most frequently in open, wet places such as wet meadows, swamps, overgrown shores of lakes, riverbanks, and open areas in forests with abundant vegetation and arboreal debris. The connection with water bodies (overgrown river valleys with floodplain ponds and lakes) is especially typical in the southernmost (forest steppe and steppe) and the northernmost areas. In the south of the Primorye Region, this species avoids dense forests and occurs mainly in wet meadows with secondary small-leafed forest or shrub in river valleys. Reproduction occurs in shallow lakes, ponds, large puddles and swamps with stagnant water.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The Siberian Wood Frog is a common or abundant amphibian. Its population density through large areas reaches several hundred or thousands individuals per hectare. At the same time, in the northernmost and the southernmost areas the species forms dense but small populations in suitable habitats, and the overall abundance should be considered low. Hibernation occurs from early September - early November (usually October) to March - early June (usually April- May), depending on latitude. The frog hibernates in holes at the bottom of lakes and rivers, and in wells, usually in groups up to a few thousand individuals. Terrestrial hibernation seems to be more typical for southern regions. Reproduction takes place from March - April (usually May elsewhere), whereas in cold northern areas the breeding season may extend until the first half of July. Breeding choruses are absent; the species belongs to the group of "mute" brown frogs. Amplexus is pectoral (axial). The clutch contains 250-4000 eggs deposited in 1-2 clumps. Metamorphosis occurs from June - August. The maximum age was determined as 5-11 years old in different regions.

The larvae of R. amurensis consume mainly algae growing on underwater substrates (Phaeophyta, Zygnemales and Bacillariophyta), as well as higher plants, detritus and small aquatic invertebrates. Juveniles consume mainly terrestrial insects, but sometimes also aquatic arthropods. Adults consume mainly terrestrial invertebrates and the diet varies by season and habitat. The frog sometimes eats aquatic prey. The latter (Mollusca, Gerridae, Dytiscidae, Haliplidae and larval Odonata) are especially important in the northern part of the frog's range. Small amounts of aquatic organisms have been found in the stomachs of frogs caught at breeding ponds.

Trends and Threats
There are no recorded overall changes in the population number of this species throughout the range. However, local declines related to human activity are known: there are reports on the negative influences of construction of dams on large rivers in Siberia, as well as drainage of breeding pools and mass collecting for education.

Relation to Humans
Rana amurensis often occurs in anthropogenically altered landscapes, especially open areas: hayfields, pastures, overgrown quarries, kitchen gardens etc. Its populations even occur in some settlements and cities.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

Drainage of habitat
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat
Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)


Read more about The Amphibians of Mongolia by Kuzman 2017 (PDF)


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Originally submitted by: Sergius L. Kuzmin (first posted 1999-11-10)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2017-03-05)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2017 Rana amurensis: Siberian Wood Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 3, 2022.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 3 Jul 2022.

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