Moor frog

Rana arvalis

Moor frog, photo Arne Ader

Moor frogs are small, 5–7 cm long, and belong to the so-called ‘brown frogs’ group. They are brown or greyish with dark spots or dots, which makes it difficult to spot them in grass and between rotting leaves or needles. They are common everywhere in Estonia: in broad-leaved tree forests, flood plains near rivers, coastal meadows, and the bordering areas of bogs. They can be seen catching food both in the daytime and at night, but they are most active at night. They mostly feed on beetles, but also spiders, grasshoppers, bed bugs, and caterpillars. They spend most of their lives, even winters, on mainland, only going into water for spawning. They spend the winter alone – in holes filled with leaves, the burrows of rodents, under piles of brush, etc. At the time of the wedding, male frogs turn completely silverish-blue, dark and coarse stubs grow on the first toes, and they make a guggle sound both during daytime and at night. They are under protection.