Frogs are amphibious animals that are known for their cold-blood and vertebrae.
They can live on both land and water, which is what separates them from the toad.
Technically, all species of toads are frogs but not all frogs are toads.
Most people have come across a frog in their lives, whether that be at a zoo or in the garden.
These bouncy little animals range from common garden animals to highly-poisonous jungle-dwelling creatures.
With more than 5,000 known species of frogs across the globe, it is difficult to answer the question of how long frogs live.
There are a number of reasons that influence the lifespan of a frog.
In this article, we are going to discuss the average lifespan of a common garden frog amongst other species.
How Long Do Frogs Live On Average?
There is little known about the lifespan of frogs in the wild. However, they are thought to have a lifespan that ranges from one day to thirty years.
The lifespan of a frog depends on where it lives and the type of species amongst other factors.
The common frog you’d find in your garden lives for around 5 years in the wild and can live as long as 10 years in captivity.
Differences In Life Span Between Captive And Wild Frogs
As with many animals, their lifespans can be extended when they live in captivity.
In captivity, they receive access to medical care if needed, a constant supply of food, and are free from potential threats that exist in the wild.
Captivity doesn’t necessarily mean they are in a zoo or wildlife (Also check out Best Wildlife Posters And Prints) center, they could be someone’s beloved pet.
Many people like keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets and frogs are more popular than you think.
Common frogs kept as pets include:
- Horned Frogs
- Gray Tree Frogs
- Dart Frogs
- Red Eyed Tree Frogs
- White Tree Frogs
The white tree frog (Ranoidea caerulea) is considered to be the most popular pet as it’s widely available in pet stores and they have a calm nature which makes them easier to keep as pets.
For reference, the white tree frog can live up to 20 years in captivity when cared for correctly.
In the wild, they can expect to live between 7-10 years.
Longest Living Frog Species
In Australia, a Green Tree Frog named Fred is thought to be the world’s oldest living frog at a whopping 40 years old.
Fred lives in captivity with a zoologist and animal advocate, which may explain his impressive age.
The species of frogs that tend to live the longest are as follows:
- American Bullfrog = 8-10 years in the wild
- American Toad = 1-10 years in the wild
- Goliath Frog = 15 years in the wild
- Australian Tree Frog = 16 years in the wild
- Common toad = 10-12 years in the wild
- Cane Toad = 10 years in the wild
Please note that these are average lifespans and aren’t exact.
What Makes Some Frogs Live Longer Than Others?
Besides living in captivity, there are a couple of innate characteristics that help a frog live a longer life.
Many species of frogs are poisonous which means they can protect themselves against predators.
Their brightly colored skin also serves as a warning to these predators as other species soon learn that one bite (Check out Frogs: Biters Or Not?) can be fatal.
Threats To The Lifespan Of A Frog
There are a number of threats that will impact frogs living in the wild, some of which are caused by humans.
Climate change impacts every animal on the planet, including humans. When the climate is stable and humid, frogs are able to live longer.
When the climate is constantly changing and there are a number of weather events such as droughts or torrential downpours this can impact their lives.
Many frogs like to live near water and in damp conditions.
Common frogs like to have access to little ponds and freshwater sources which helps keep their skin moist and their lungs functioning properly.
Tree frogs love humidity, so water helps to facilitate these conditions.
If temperatures in the jungle suddenly drop, this can have a devastating impact on the population.
Not only are humans responsible for climate change which can impact the lifespan of a frog, but they are also responsible for destroying habitats and polluting waters.
Rapid urbanization is occurring all over the world to cope with the growing population.
This in turn reduces the amount of green space we have, which impacts the ability of populations of frogs to survive amongst an increasing number of other species.
Pollution is another cause for concern as the pollution of waterways by humans can poison frog populations or cause deformities in their offspring.
We’ve mentioned predators already, but predators are an important factor to consider as there aren’t any species of frog at the top of the food chain.
These are often easy prey for many predators, even if they are poisonous.
Common predators of frogs include lizards, snakes, small mammals, otters, and larger birds such as herons.
Unfortunately, frogs are vulnerable to predators on land, water, and from the air.
There are some predators that have evolved to become immune to the toxins that come out of the frog when they attack them.
Lifespans Of Common Frogs
- Fire-bellied Toad = 5-10 years in the wild, 20 in captivity
- Poison Dart Frog = 10 years in the wild, 20 in captivity
- Gray Tree Frog = 5-7 years in the wild, 15-20 in captivity
- Leopard Frog = 2-5 years in the wild, up to 9 years in captivity
- African Dwarf Frog = up to 5 years in captivity
- Blue Poison Dart Frog = 4-6 years in the wild, up to 15 years in captivity
- American Green Tree Frog = 2-5 years in the wild, up to 6 in captivity
The Bottom Line
Frogs are fascinating creatures that are still yet to be fully understood. Their lifespans can range dramatically from one day to thirty years.
They tend to live longer in captivity as they receive better care and are free from predators.
In the wild, there are a number of challenges both man-made and natural that will impact their lifespans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Frogs Live For 20 Years?
In captivity, frogs have been known to live for up to 20 years when they are cared for properly by knowledgeable owners.
In the wild, it’s extremely unlikely that a frog would live for 20 years due to natural causes, food, and predators.