Italian Agile Frog

(Rana latastei)

An endemic species of the Po Plain, it is classified in the group of red frogs. Protected both nationally and internationally (Annex II of the Habitat Directive), so its conservation is a priority.


This species is restricted to the Po Plain, and is currently located in the remains of humid lowland forests.


It has a slender build and a reddish-brown colouring, with two evident dark strips that start thin at the nostrils. Its belly has a particular colouring, with a peculiar whitish cross-shaped colouring on a brown background.


Italian agile frogs are characteristic in the ancient lowland forests of the Po Plain (semi-hygrophilous forest) which have now almost completely disappeared. The species is currently associated with humid deciduous forests growing along waterways with abundant vegetation. It can also adapt to poplar plantations in limited areas, although with natural undergrowth. Outside the reproductive period, it lives nocturnally almost entirely on land. It spends its hibernation period on land under heaps of dead plants, in fallen trunks, in cavities in the soil, or in bedding even 1 km from the water. It reproduces mainly in bodies of water with weak currents or those fed by the water table (oxbow lakes) in forested areas. It can adapt to modified habitats such as irrigation canals, but only if these are close to the residual forest necessary for hibernation.

Observation in the Torbiera Reserve

These frogs remain in a few marginal areas mainly consisting of trenches and canals. Their presence is severely threatened.

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