Science – Rare edible little frog is the amphibian of 2023 – Wikiwand

Fellbach/Salzinhibitororf (dpa) – The tiny water frog is rare, little researched – and next year it will also be this year’s amphibian. The award aims to promote species protection and draw attention to shortcomings in research, says the German Society for Herpetology and Soil Sciences (DGHT), based in Salz-Inhepettordorf in Lower Saxony.

The little water frog (Pelophylax lessonae) is the color of grass green, but there are also blue-green or brown color variants. This species is more at home in smaller, nutrient-poor waters such as forest swamp ponds. However, this smaller form of Central European green frog is very similar to the pond frog. Therefore it can only be determined with certainty by specialists about the shape and size of the heel hump.

“It’s not easy with water frogs in Germany,” says DGHT managing director Axel Kuet from Fellbach near Stuttgart. Three outwardly very similar species inhabited the shore areas. The most famous is the common pond frog, which attracts attention in early summer with noisy parties in the garden pond. “Even biologists are not always able to distinguish between the two species—especially since a third representative occurs in Germany with the larger bog frog,” says Coit.

As a general rule, the small edible frog does not appear alone, but always forms mixed groups with the pond frog. “In many cases, only genetic differences allow reliable identification of edible European frogs, and in the past the three original species were simply grouped as a compound of edible frogs,” says Kwet. This is why so little is known about how common the small edible frog is and how endangered it is.

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This species is listed as the only species in the category “endangered from unknown extent” in Germany’s Red List of Amphibians. From the point of view of the DGHT, the number of species is slowly declining because there are fewer and fewer spawning waters such as swamps, ponds, swamps or ditches.

According to the DGHT, it has more than 5,000 members worldwide. The Society is committed to research on amphibians and reptiles (herpetology), conservation and competent breeding, species and nature conservation.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 221124-99-641209/2

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