The coqui frog
is sometimes confused with another invasive Caribbean species,
the greenhouse frog, Eleutherodactylus planirostris.
The greenhouse frog is a smaller, quieter cousin that lives
in similar habitats. Neither species appears to be poisonous.
Coqui and greenhouse frogs have other key characteristics
used to tell them apart (see poster below). The male coqui’s
loud “Ko-KEE” call is easily distinguished from
the cricket-like chirping of the greenhouse frog. Both species
are nocturnal, usually more vocal from sunset and during rainfall,
and the females and juveniles make little, if any, sound.
Excellent recordings of coqui and greenhouse calls can be
found at the Hawaiian
Ecosystems At Risk (HEAR) Project website.
people have called to say they found a "HUGE" coqui
frog, bigger than any they'd seen before and wondered if it
was a new species. Others have reported different colors from
almost translucent as a gecko to yellow to orange to red to
black with an assortment of patterns, all wondered if they
had a new species. So far, all frogs brought in for
positive identification have been the coqui frog or the greenhouse
frog (see Identification poster below).
average size of coqui frogs in Hawaii is likely increasing. Since
frogs continue to grow throughout their entire lives (at least
7 years, up to 2 inches snout-to-vent or rear), the older
they are, the larger they become. Coqui frogs have been
on the Big Island for nearly 10 years; therefore, a larger
proportion of individual frogs are noticeably bigger than
they were several years ago. Elevation is another factor known
to influence body size. Frogs tend to grow larger at higher
elevations compared to lower elevations.