If you come and stay with us between the months of March and November, it is almost certain that you will hear the sound of a European tree frog (la rainette verte / hyla arborea). Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will see one because they are small (never longer than 5 cms) and rather elusive.

These frogs live almost everywhere, but we notice them most in our courtyard. They occupy the wisteria (les glycines) and the arum lilies (les callas) (where we took these photographs) and the chestnut tree (le marronnier).

Here's looking at a European tree frog.

Apparently, female frogs have white throats (gorges) and male frogs have golden brown throats. Can you tell if the one in these photographs is male or female?

The European tree frog, a side view.

Their voice is surprisingly loud for so small an animal, and the croak (coassement) is unmistakable to us as we cross the courtyard, sometimes setting them off into duets with each other. Sometimes, their croaks come from the very top of the chestnut tree; sometimes from inside the kitchen wall as we sit eating!

The European tree frog in an arum lily.

We’d never seen the European tree frog in England - it doesn’t exist there - so it’s a treat to see them about the place here. From time to time we even see them on the outside of a window pane (vitre de fenêtre), glued to the glass with their disc-like toes.

The European tree frog on a window bar.