common frog

Info & advice

Glossary

Amphibian

cold-blooded vertebrate of the class Amphibia, comprising frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and caecilians. Typically the larvae are aquatic (dependent on water) and breathe using gills whereas the adults are terrestrial or semi-terrestrial (land based), breathing by lungs and/or through their moist skin.

Amplexus

the mating embrace of frogs and toads where the smaller male clasps on to the larger female ‘piggy back’ style.

Anuran

Amphibians without tails (i.e. frogs and toads).

ARG

Amphibian and Reptile Group (county-based group of experts and enthusiasts).

Caudata

amphibians with tails (e.g. newts).

Croaks

email news bulletins from Froglife (also the noise made by frogs and toads).

Daphnia

water fleas (common food for tadpoles).

Eft

the young of newts;  usually describes newts that have just completed their metamorphosis from tadpoles and have left the water.

Exotic

a species not native to this country (also called non-native or introduced).

Frogalogue

directory of Froglife merchandise.

Froglet

young frog that has just completed its metamorphosis from a tadpole and left the pond.

Froglife Friend

paying supporter of Froglife.

Hibernacula

place for amphibians and reptiles to spend the winter; normally comprises of logs or brick rubble covered with soil.

Hibernation

period of time spent dormant (over the winter).

Larva

the immature form or life-stage; used to describe newt tadpoles.

Metamorphosis

a profound change in form from one life stage to the next e.g. a tadpole developing into a frog.

Natterchat

Froglife’s bi-annual newsletter.

Newtlet

a newt that has just completed its metamorphosis from a tadpole and left the water; sometimes called an eft.

Parotoid glands

a pair of glands on the backs of toads, usually behind the eye, which produce a toxin; this toxin makes them distasteful to predators.

Pond-dipping

fun, educational activity to see what’s living in a pond; a net is swept through the water and the contents tipped into a water-filled tray to get a closer look.

Red-leg

misleading name given to frog-disease ranavirus.

Refuge

flat easily-warmed object a reptile can hide underneath which can be lifted to get a closer look, for example a piece of slate, a square of corrugated tin or an old carpet.

Reptile

cold-blooded vertebrate of the class Reptilia, comprising snakes, lizards, turtles and crocodiles, and various extinct members including the dinosaurs. They have an external covering of scales and usually lay eggs.

Spawn

amphibian eggs.

Tadpole

the aquatic young of amphibians, particularly frogs and toads.

Toad Patrol

group of volunteers who help toads as they migrate across roads to their breeding ponds.

Toadlet 

young toad that has just completed its metamorphosis from a tadpole and left the pond.

Toadpole

sometimes used to describe toad tadpoles.

Viviparous

describes the act of incubating eggs internally and giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs externally. Common lizards, sometimes called viviparous lizards, do this, as do adders and smooth snakes.

Vocal sac

pouch(es) of skin under an amphibians chin; these are inflated in order to make noises to attract a mate.

Wildlife and Countryside Act

law protecting amphibians and reptiles (the level of protection depends on the species).

Wildlife pond

pond kept solely for the use of native wildlife; it will usually not contain fish and have no pump/filter/aerator.

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