Fear of frogs

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Fear of frogs and toads is both a specific phobia, known simply as frog phobia or ranidaphobia (from ranidae, the most widespread family of frogs), and a superstition common to the folkways of many cultures. Psychiatric speciality literature uses the simple term "fear of frogs" rather than any specialized term.[1] The term batrachophobia has also been recorded in a 1953 psychiatric dictionary.[2]

Popular beliefs[edit]

According to some, the sight of a frog may be a bad omen. As well, a common myth says that touching frogs and toads may give one warts. (In many other cultures, frogs are considered a good omen.) A survey carried out by researchers from the Johannesburg Zoo have shown that in modern times old superstitions play a less significant role and modern children are more concerned whether frogs are poisonous or harmless.[3]

As a phobia[edit]

Phobia against frogs often happens after seeing frogs die violently. One case of severe fear of frogs has been described in Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry in 1983: a woman developed an extreme fear of frogs after a traumatic incident in which her lawn mower ran over a group of frogs and killed them.[4]

Portuguese shopkeepers are using ceramic frogs to deter Roma people.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Psychiatry Specialty Board Review for the DSM-IV" (1996) Psychology Press, ISBN 0-87630-788-8 p. 97
  2. ^ Jacob Shatzky, Leland Earl Hinsie (1953) "Psychiatric Dictionary: With Encyclopedic Treatment of Modern Terms", Oxford University Press, "Fear of frogs"
  3. ^ "What do kids think about Frogs?" Archived 2008-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, a Johannesburg Zoo article
  4. ^ Thyer, Bruce A.; Curtis, George C. (December 1983). "The Repeated Pretest-Posttest Single-Subject Experiment: A New Design for Empirical Clinical Practice". Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. 14 (4): 312. doi:10.1016/0005-7916(83)90073-3. hdl:2027.42/25047. ISSN 0005-7916. PMID 6141181. The client was a 26-year-old housewife who was seen at the Anxiety Disorders Program for complaints of a severe fear of frogs. The onset of her fear seemed to stem from a traumatic incident 18 months earlier when she was mowing thick grass in the yard of her home on a riverbank.
  5. ^ Vidal, Marta (February 4, 2019). "Portuguese shopkeepers using ceramic frogs to 'scare away' Roma". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. Retrieved February 4, 2019.