The Common Parsley Frog (Pelodytes punctatus) is a very small and slender frog with long hindlegs, flat head and vertical pupils. Males reach only 3.5, females 4.5 centimetres. The upper side of the body is variable in colour, usually with irregular green patches on a light brown, grey or light olive background. The Parsley Frog's back is dotted with elongated warts, often in undulating longitudinal rows that can be orange along the flanks. Behind the protruding eyes and above the tympanum, there is short, small gland. It does not have parotid glands. The underside is white, and around the pelvis yellowy orange. In the mating season, males develop dark swellings on the insides of their digits and forelimbs, as well as on the chest. The males' forelimbs are stronger than females'.
During mating, the male grabs the female around the waist with its front limbs, not under the arms, as the Neobatrachia do (also see amplexus). For laying the eggs, the amplexed couple will seek a vertical twig or reed in the water, on which the female attaches an egg mass only a few centimetres long, containing 40 to 300 eggs. These are dark grey to black on top and covered in jelly. The tadpoles need approximately three months until metamorphosis if no hibernation intervenes. Previous to this, they can reach a considerable 6.5 centimetres (9.5 cm) - longer than the adult animal!
The distribution ranges from Spain up to the North of France, including France, Spain, Portugal and a small part of Northwestern Italy (Piemont and Liguria). In altitude, these frogs reach from sea level to middle mountainous regions. The distribution in France is the most continuous; here, only the Eastern edge and parts of the South West are not colonised. In the South of the Iberian peninsula, the Iberian Parsley Frog (P. ibericus Sánchez-Herraíz, Barbadillo-Escrivá, Machordom & Sanchíz, 2000) has come to be regarded as a separate species in recent years. The third Pelodytes species, the Caucasian Parsley Frog (P. caucasicus Boulenger, 1896), is spatially set apart with its distribution in the Caucasus and Turkey. This may be an example of allopatric speciation in ice age refugia.