The dark-spotted frog

Writer: Isaac Cohen  |  Editor: Ye Shangqing  |  From: Shenzhen Daily

A dark-spotted frog is seen at Bijia Mountain in Futian District.

The dark spotted frog

With the beginning of spring, the city starts to witness the massive awakening of insects and a blooming of newborns — not just insects, but also multiple species including birds, reptiles and amphibians, including the fascinating dark-spotted frog (Pelophylax nigromaculatus).


This frog is characterized by dark spots on its back; but sometimes the spots can be absent. The back coloration of the frog varies from grey to green and passes through different tones, including a grayish-olive and an olive-green as well. The dark-spotted frog has three eye-catching bands on its back, one in the middle and two others lateral that oftentimes can be of a different color. Their legs are covered in a dark-striped pattern and their toes are webbed to help them swim.

These fabulous frogs can be found at wetlands and basically near every single type of water body in our city, like lakes, ponds, rivers or marshes. They live at different altitudes in the mountains, well adapted to human intervened landscapes.


Frogs in general play an important role in the dynamics of the ecosystem and this particular one is not an exception. They feed on spiders, insects or any type of invertebrate animals. They may even eat vertebrates, although rarely. The dark-spotted frog in turn is food for snakes and birds. Acting as a link between different animal groups, they are important for the balance of the ecosystem.


The dark-spotted frog is listed as a near-threatened species. We need to pay more attention to the protection of their habitats so we don’t have to suffer the consequences of their extinction.