Common frogs breed in shallow, still, fresh water such as ponds, with breeding commencing in March. The adults congregate in the ponds, where the males compete for females. The courtship ritual involves croaking, and a successful male grasps the female under the forelegs. During the mating season the males can be recognised by a darkened swelling, the nuptial pad on their 'thumbs'. The actual spawning typically takes place at night but the courtship rituals are also at daytime. The females, which are generally larger than the males, lay between 1,000 and 2,000 eggs which float in large clusters.