Ranidae – True frogs

Widest distributed of any amphibian, these "classic" frogs have a typical smooth skin, webbed feet & large, powerful legs

Commonly referred to as true frogs, they are a globally distributed family of amphibians inhabiting a vast array of regions across the planet, with the notable exceptions of Australia and Antarctica. What distinguishes this family is the sheer diversity in their sizes, ranging from diminutive species like the wood frog, scarcely larger than a toenail, to formidable giants capable of consuming entire bats and birds.

True frogs, characterized by their frog-like body shapes, possess several distinctive features, including robust hindlimbs and webbed toes, making them well-suited for both terrestrial and aquatic lifestyles. While most species exhibit adaptability to life on land and in water, the reproductive phase is tied to aquatic environments, where adults lay their eggs. This amphibious lifestyle ensures the survival of their tadpoles, which undergo aquatic development.

Intriguingly, true frogs often display a coloration that blends seamlessly with their surroundings, primarily in shades of green and brown. This cryptic coloring aids in camouflage, providing them with a measure of protection from potential predators. Those that inhabit aquatic environments tend to have an olive-green hue, further enhancing their ability to blend in.

The ecological significance of true frogs cannot be understated. As both predators and prey within their ecosystems, they play a pivotal role in maintaining ecological balance. Their diet primarily consists of insects and other small invertebrates, contributing to the regulation of insect populations. Additionally, their calls serve as a vital component of acoustic communication within their communities, aiding in mate selection and territory establishment.