From tadpole to fully grown adult, the lifecycle of a frog is one of nature’s great wonders. But how do frogs reproduce? Do frogs get pregnant? And what does a pregnant frog look like? Let’s find out.
Is there such thing as a pregnant frog?
Do frog’s really get “pregnant”? The answer to this is actually no. Frogs don’t get pregnant in the same way humans do.
Female frogs release eggs in the spring. These eggs are then fertilized by a male frog and the baby frogs develop inside the eggs, outside of the female frogs body.
So what do we mean when we describe a frog as pregnant. The closest a frog comes to being pregnant is in the spring time. Between late summer and early spring, a female frog develops thousands of eggs inside her body.
Around the month of March, the female will release lots of eggs – frog spawn – into the pond.
How to tell if a frog is “pregnant”?
Assuming that by “pregnant” you mean carrying lots of eggs and about to spawn, here’s how to tell if a frog is pregnant:
When a frog is pregnant, you can see a slight fattening around the tummy. Female frogs will sometimes appear pear-shaped when they are about to spawn. However, Most of the time it is difficult to see if she’s pregnant because females don’t look much different than usual.
When does a pregnant frog spawn (lay eggs)?
Frogspawn usually appears in ponds between January and March.
In March you should be able to see frogspawn in well-vegetated, shaded, and shallow ponds across the country.
How do frogs eggs get fertilized?
Usually, frogs can breed from between the age of two and three years old.
They often go back to the pond where they were born and attract the females there with their croaking.
When a female approaches a male frog, the maleattaches himself to the back of the female by grasping her under the forelegs. This is where he stays until the female frog lays her eggs.
Then, when the females spawns, the male fertilizes the eggs by spraying semen over them.
Fun fact: There is a possibility that more than one male fertilizes the spawn of a female frog
How do you know if a frog is male or female?
There are several factors that help determine whether a frog is male or a female.
Male frogs are typically the ones that you hear croaking all night long.
With this sound, male frogs call female frogs to attract them to a potential breeding spot.
The female then chooses the most attractive sound and approaches that male frog.
This does not mean that female frogs can’t make any noise.. they can “scream” when they are in danger, but it isn’t a primary function for them.
Females are generally bigger than males
Generally female frogs are bigger than males.
Sure, there are some exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking females tend to be bigger.
If you think about it, this makes sense. The female frogs are the ones that hold the eggs. The bigger the female is, the more eggs she can carry. This means that there is potential for more offspring!
For most species, it is normal that the male frog is smaller than the female. To give you an example, Tree frogs range from 1 – 5.5 inches (about 3-14 centimeters). Females are generally about half an inch longer than the male frog and weigh slightly more.
Male and female frogs have different genitals. But this isn’t a practical way of determining if your frog is male or female. This is because both genders have their genitalia housed inside their body.
Do frogs always need a pond to reproduce? Some frogs don’t need much water when they want to mate. A little rain in a curled leaf is sometimes all that is needed for the female frog to lay her frogspawn. When the eggs of the female frog make contact with water, their jelly (or protective layers) will soak up the water and becoming a jelly-like substance to protect the eggs.
How many eggs does a frog lay at a time? The female frog can lay up to 20.000 eggs all at once, and they are protected with jelly. After the eggs have been fertilized, it takes around 201 days for the eggs will hatch. After the female has laid her eggs, so doesn’t bother for protecting the eggs. This means that some eggs may become dinner for a fish. This then means that of the 20.000 eggs she laid, maybe only 10 will actually hatch into tadpoles.
Can female frogs reproduce without a male frog? No, female frogs do need a male frog to reproduce. This is because the eggs need fertilization and the female frog can’t do that herself. There is always a male frog needed to spray semen over the eggs. In this way, the eggs get fertilized and will hatch about 21 days later.