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  The Life Cycle of a Coqui Frog
frog eggs 1 to 2 day old frog eggs 6 to 7 days old frog eggs 8 to 9 days old frog eggs 10 to 11 days old
frog eggs 1-2 days old
actual egg size: 3 mm
frog eggs 6-7 days old
actual egg size: 4 mm
frog eggs 8-9 days old
actual egg size: 5 mm
frog eggs 10-11 days old
actual egg size: 5 mm
frog eggs 14 to 15 days old
frog eggs 14-15 days old
actual froglet size: 6 mm
froglet < 1 hour old
froglet < 1 hour old
adult coqui frog
adult coqui frog

Coqui frogs belong to a genus of frogs that do not have a tadpole stage and therefore do not require a body of water to reproduce. Instead, the female lays the eggs on damp moss or leaf litter, or inside a rolled or folded leaf, and the eggs are brooded by the male, who keeps them moist until they hatch.

At first, the eggs look white to off-white and opaque, about the size of large tapioca pearls. As they mature, the eggs enlarge, darken and become transparent, resembling papaya seeds, with the frog embryo visible inside. When the tiny froglets hatch in 14-17 days, they are about ¼ inch (5 mm) long.

In its native Puerto Rico, the female coqui frog usually lays a cluster or clutch of 34-75 eggs four to six times a year; however, under laboratory conditions in Hawai`i, mating pairs produce a clutch every 2½ weeks without loss of fertility – that’s 26 clutches a year, or more than 1,400 eggs per female per year! It takes about 8 months for froglets to mature. Adult coqui frogs may live as long as 4-6 years.

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VIDEO CLIP: coqui froglet hatching from egg RealOne QuickTime


Coqui frogs guarding eggs

Female (larger, on left) and male (smaller, on right, guarding eggs).
Photos by A. Hara and S. Chun, UH-CTAHR


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