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Spawning RED common frogs?

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DaveH3 | 21:18 Tue 27th Feb 2007 | Science
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Yesterday I visited a local nature reserve with a walled garden and medium sized wildlife pond. To my delight the pond was swarming with common frogs that were all in the process of spawning and mating etc, there must have been at least fifty of them. As I watched from a distance through a birding telescope I noticed that one of the females was a definite redish brown / tan colour and some of the others had some reddening around there mouths and limbs. Apart from that they were behaving normally but I wondered if it was a kind of disease and if so could it spread to the rest of the frogs and what is the outcome, does anyone know? I have heard that there is a disease of frogs going around but I don't know anything about it, could it be this and what is likely to happen? Thanks.

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This sounds like it could be frog Red-Leg.

Here's one internet site with pictures, but there's lots of other websites with more info:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/outdoors/nature/fro gs.shtml
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Thanks for your advice prof. I am hoping that it is not RED LEG as they did seem healthy apat from the colour, however all I could see was there backs and heads and the pictures on the website are mostly of their bellies so I am still non the wiser.

I would imagine redleg is only one way in which frogs can appear red.

I think what you have witnessed is simple genetic variation. My back garden pond has hundreds of frogs, many of which exhibit a deep reddening colour all over their body. They are all fit and healthy and I have not found one dead frog exhibiting the symptoms of redleg.

In fact when i was young there was a particularly large male frog, which was very red in colour, who always sat in the same area of the pond, and who i named (rather unimaginatively) Red. Red inhabited the pond for around 3 years before he died (i assume) from old age. He definately did not have 'redleg', and frequently mated year upon year (I am not into frog porn, he was just hard to miss as he stood out when doing it!!!). This is why i think there has been an increase in the frequency of red frogs in my pond, because old Red had been busy distributing his red genes :-)

Rest in peace Red
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thanks eifion, i think you are right.

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