Frog Reproduction

Frog reproduction involves the adult male and female frogs coming in to breeding status during the Springtime normally, and they make their way to suitable ponds or bodies of water where they then begin the process of breeding and to do this they begin in a position known as amplexus.  

  • The female lays out spawn, the male releases his sperm at the same time to fertilise the eggs and the eggs eventually hatch into tadpoles.  These tadpoles in due course transform into froglets and at the right time will eventually become frogs in their own right.

Frog reproduction

This is a brief and straightforward scenario of frog reproduction, but it is actually quite a complicated affair because the frogs tend to go about the breeding business in different ways and with different practices to achieve the same outcome.  

  • The frog reproduction cycle involve external or internal fertilisation; the eggs might be laid in the water, or they might not, and some species give birth to live young.
  • In order for the adults frogs to be able to reproduce, they have to be in a healthy state of health and be in a good condition to be successful at reproduction.  In female frogs, this is eggs, or ova, and in males, it is sperm.
  • The frog reproduction cycle that happens at around the same time each year is known as cyclic breeding.  This means that their ovaries or testes follow a pattern each year.  

In areas where conditions are favourable and suitable for breeding, the breeding season is quite long compared to others.  For example, tropical frogs begin to breed at the beginning of the rainy seasons and will continue being able to breed until the start of the dry season.  This can be for as long as nine or even ten months of a year.  The males at this time will call every night, and the females that are ready to lay their eggs will visit the male frogs.  

TadpolesTadpoles in water
AmplexusMating frogs in amplexus

Where there are species that do not share their habitat with other species, sometimes the male frog does not call

In general terms, a frog needs to own its own territory in order to attract a mate.  Male frogs do tend to go to huge efforts to make sure their territory is defined and well defended.  They use their call to let other males know that that particular territory is already owned.

In experiments, it has been found that a female will be attracted to the call which is loudest, and which goes on the longest.  

When the females arrive at the pond and enter the water, the male frogs will mill around and grasp at a ripe female.  

However, they will grasp at anything that is roughly the right size such as a piece of wood.  

Once the male lands on a ripe female he will often find that other males try to become involved, in which case the successful male will tend to kick away the others with a hind foot.  

The female will spawn and leave the pond, and the male will return to the other males in the hope of finding another mate.  

This goes on for a period of three or four nights, and gradually as the supply of females dries up, the males will disperse.

Frog reproduction: Amplexus (for more detailed information on amplexus click here)

Once the male has found a mate, he takes up a position in which he can fertilise the eggs.  This usually happens outside the female body, just after the eggs have been laid and before the jelly that will surround them has swelled.  To make sure that the male frog's sperm comes into contact with as many of the eggs as possible, he needs to position his cloaca as close as he can. This position is known as amplexus.

In order for the male frog to be able to keep a firm grip on the female frog so that he doesn't fall off during mating, most frogs have nuptial pads.  These pads have a rough surface and are often quite heavily pigmented. They form on the outer edge of the thumb of a sexually active frog or toad. 

For more detailed information on Amplexus click here

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