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Species native to the United Kingdom
Introduced or alien species
Alien species that present a threat to wildlife

European Tree Frog - Hyla arborea - Alien


Tailless Amphibian - smooth skin

A small bright green frog.

Quite different from other species likely to be encountered in the UK and is easily identifiable by sight or sound.

Dorsal surface is usually lime green. Ventral surface is white, dark dorsolateral stripes extend back from the eyes to the groin. Tree frogs can change colour very rapidly, and may appear a brownish grey on emergence from hibernation.

Call is a distinctive krak... krak... krak... sometimes compared to a dog bark or the quack of a duck. Very often it is only this call that leads to these frogs being discovered.

Adults up to 5 cm

Tadpoles are very fast moving with a relatively high crest extending almost to the eye; convex tail fin; golden-olive above, white below.

UK Distribution

There have been many introductions over the past century, these led to successful reproductions in Devon and the Isle of Wight, but the populations were short lived, as was one that established in South East London in the 1970's. The most successful colony existed in the New Forest, but is thought to now be extinct, probably removed by collectors.


Exotic - The European Tree Frog has been deliberately introduced to the UK. It is not considered to be a threat to native species.

European Tree Frog
© Alan Hyde

European Tree Frog
© Alan Hyde

The European Tree Frog

Release of exotic species into the wild is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

This includes introduction of exotic or alien species that may already have become established.

The interpretation of "wild" in the act includes private gardens from which escape is possible.

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