Pelophylax esculentus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Ranidae

Scientific Name: Pelophylax esculentus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Edible Frog
Pelophylax esculenta Linnaeus, 1758
Rana esculenta Linnaeus, 1758
Rana esculenta Linnaeus, 1758
Rana maritima Risso, 1827
Taxonomic Notes: Previously, Pelophylax esculentus was considered to be a full species or a subspecies. It has since been found to be a hybrid form between the parental species, P. lessonae and P. ridibundus. According to the generally accepted view, this is a kleptospecies, i.e. a new category of taxa at the species level, the character of which does not coincide with the biological species concept. A large majority of past records of "Rana esculenta" (except for the designation of P. ridibundus under the same name) refer to P. lessonae or the latter and the hybrid form together. Further studies on the ecology and distribution of the hybrid P. esculentus are needed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Sergius Kuzmin, Trevor Beebee, Franco Andreone, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk, Vladimir Ishchenko, Natalia Ananjeva, Nikolai Orlov, Boris Tuniyev, Maria Ogielska, Claude Miaud, Jon Loman, Dan Cogalniceanu, Tibor Kovács
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Amphibian Assessment)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges throughout most of western, central and eastern Europe; populations are largely sympatric with populations of the parental species. It is absent from much of Scandinavia (although present in Denmark and southern most Sweden [it is unclear as to whether or not the Swedish populations are relicts or introductions]). In Italy it is present only with certainty in the River Po plain. The species has been introduced to the United Kingdom [not mapped here] and to Spain at Villasbuenas de Gata, Cáceres and unspecified localities in Galicia, Cataluña and Comunidad Valenciana. It is generally a lowland taxon which might occur up to approximately 1,550m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; France; Germany; Hungary; Italy; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine
Spain; United Kingdom
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1550
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is generally stable with large populations in Eastern Europe. There have been population declines reported in parts of Western Europe.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a largely aquatic species associated with wetlands such as ponds, channels, ditches and slow moving rivers and streams. It is generally absent from forests, very large pools and strongly flowing waterbodies. The species spawns and larval development takes place within wetland habitats. It can occur in artificial waterbodies, and has spread in parts of its range through the irrigation of formerly unsuitable habitat (e.g.. in parts of Romania).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is generally threatened by aquatic pollution (often by agrochemicals) and drainage of wetland habitats. The frog-leg trade and high levels of pollution are leading to significant declines in populations of the former Yugoslavia (Dzukic, 1996; Ljubisavljevic et al. 2003). Declines in the parent species R. lessonae can directly affect dependant populations of R. esculenta.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Annex V of the EU Natural Habitats Directive and is protected by national legislation in many countries. It is recorded on many national and sub-national Red Data books and lists. It is present in many protected areas. In parts of this species' range, mitigation measures to reduce road kill have been established.

Citation: Sergius Kuzmin, Trevor Beebee, Franco Andreone, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk, Vladimir Ishchenko, Natalia Ananjeva, Nikolai Orlov, Boris Tuniyev, Maria Ogielska, Claude Miaud, Jon Loman, Dan Cogalniceanu, Tibor Kovács. 2009. Pelophylax esculentus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T58594A11794484. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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