Summer can be a wonderful time to spot wildlife in your garden, including one of our favourites, the frog. During the warmer months, adult frogs, toads and newts will be trying to stay cool in shaded and damp parts of your garden and between June and September, froglets and other juvenile amphibians start to hatch making your garden look alive as they disperse into surrounding areas.
The team at Clent Hills Vets has put together some information to help you understand how to tell what’s in your garden this summer.
Amphibians begin life as eggs, which are spawned in water. They grow into tadpoles that look like small fish with long tails, sprout four legs and become froglets, toadlets or newtlets before leaving the water. They like to live in damp and secluded places on land, and return to water to hunt and breed.
The most common varieties you will see in a UK garden are Common Frogs, Common Toads, Smooth Newts, and Palmate Newts.
Fun facts and key differences between Frogs, Toads & Newts:
Frogs lose their tails and have longer legs and smooth mucus-covered skin. Frogs sometimes make a high-pitched noise like a scream when attacked to repel the predator.
Toads lose their tails and have shorter legs and rough, thick skin. A toad’s skin produces a toxin that makes it distasteful to predators.
Newts keep their tails, grow up to 10cm in length, and have smooth skin which varies between shades of grey and brown. Newts can have a lighter coloured belly and a spotted throat, and males develop a wavy crest along their back during breeding season.
Newts are sometimes mistaken for the Common Lizard, which you would be very lucky to spot in your garden as reptiles are secretive and move fast. Common Lizards have scaly skin, grow up to 15cm long (including tail) and are usually brown in colour (can be yellow, green, or black), with a pattern of spots and/or stripes down their back.
Download our fun guide and create your own frog-friendly garden.