European Tree Frog

The noisy tree climber

Author: Margret Bunzel-Drüke
Author: Margret Bunzel-Drüke

Small but demanding

The Tree Frog is a small but very well-known species of amphibian. Its characteristic features are the adhesive discs on the ends of its fingers and toes. Thanks to these, the Tree Frog is the only amphibian species in Central Europe that can climb into bushes and trees. It generally has leaf-green upperparts but this can vary to grey or almost black depending on temperature. The underside is whitish or cream coloured, and is separated from the green colour of the body by a wide brown to black stripe on its side from the head to the back legs.

The reproductive period of the Tree Frog extends from April to May. It only calls and mates on sufficiently warm nights. The walnut-sized clumps of spawn, consisting of 50 to 100 eggs, are stuck to submerged plant stalks in the shallow zone of fish-free, sunlit ponds with little vegetation. The eggs are yellowish to light brown on the upper side and creamy white underneath.

After the spawning period, adult Tree Frogs spend the summer on land in structurally diverse tall forb communities and woody shrubs near their spawning water. The typical summer call can then be heard from high up in the trees. The Tree Frog winters in frost-free holes in the ground, crevices or piles of leaves.

In Germany, the Tree Frog is nearly ubiquitous, but is often locally very rare or already extinct. Its occurrence depends greatly on conservation measures, and in NRW the species is classified as "endangered" in category 2 of the Red List NRW. Most of the South Westphalian population is to be found in the lowland areas of the District of Soest.