It’s a new year for amphibians and reptiles! Whilst you might not think our species are very active at this time of the year one species may been seen laying eggs by the end of this month…
Our common frog breeds from their 2nd or 3rd year, often returning to the ponds from which they originally spawned. Male frogs attract female frogs by ‘croaking’ – this is a soft repetitive sound which also serves to intimidate other males.
Frogspawn might be seen from January onwards into March, with the first sightings of frogspawn often in the south-west of the UK. The effects of unpredictable weather conditions can make it difficult for breeding common frog who use the temperature as a cue. As we have the potential to experience mild winters this can be confusing. These out of season warmer temperatures have even resulted in frogspawn sightings in October / November in the past! Studies suggest that common frog spawning is becoming earlier – with research showing a 10C rise in temperature equating to a 5.1 day advance in frogspawn arrival (Carroll et al. 2009).
Frogspawn won’t survive freezing should colder temperatures return after a mild spell – however spawn under the surface of the water would likely survive if freezing does not persist in the long term.
You can help by submitting your sightings of frogspawn and any other amphibians and reptiles with our Dragon Finder App (https://www.froglife.org/dragonfinder/app/) – these records help us learn more about how our changing environment affects our species.