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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

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 venomous or harmless.[3]

As a phobia

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 use ceramic frogs to deter Roma people.[5]

See also


  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.