In this article, we’ll answer the question:
“How do frogs reproduce?”
First, you’ll find a short summary explaining the reproduction cycle of frogs. Then you’ll get more details about how frogs mate, the length of pregnancy, egg fertilization methods, and the birth of tadpoles.
Frogs are carnivorous amphibians composing the order Anura. Frogs account for around 88% of extant amphibian species. And there is no formal distinction between frogs and toads in biological taxonomy.
How Do Frogs Reproduce?
Frogs reproduce using external fertilization in most species using a mating posture called amplexus, which is where the male frog grabs onto the female frog’s back and fertilizes the eggs as they are released.
According to How Stuff Works, “Frogs can stay in amplexus for hours or even days as the female releases as few as one or as many as several hundred eggs.”
Fewer than a dozen species of frogs use internal fertilization and give birth to tadpoles. One newly discovered species is called the fanged frog (Limnonectes larvaepartus). And, according to research published on the National Library of Medicine website, “all but the new species either deposit fertilized eggs or give birth to froglets.”
Frog Reproduction Cycle
The reproduction cycle of frogs consists of multiple stages in their life cycle: mating, egg production, fertilization, hatching, tadpole, tadpole forming legs, froglet with a short tail, and adult frog with no tail.
Do Frogs Reproduce Asexually?
Frogs do not reproduce asexually. All frogs reproduce sexually and frog eggs require fertilization during the reproduction cycle.
How Long Are Frogs Pregnant?
Most frog species are pregnant for three to four months before laying eggs. However, the gestation period for female Nimba toads is a nine-month pregnancy where they give live birth to fully developed juveniles.
How Do Frogs Mate?
Frogs mate through a process called amplexus which is where the male frog grasps the female frog around the torso with his forelimbs. Male sperm is then ejected externally onto the eggs as they are released from the female’s body or transferred internally in the oviduct.
Male frogs do not have a penis for mating and use one of two ways to fertilize female eggs:
- Internal fertilization: An intromittent organ located at the end of the male frog’s body transfers sperm to the female’s oviduct.
- External fertilization: A cloaca chamber that is used to pass sperm, urine, and fecal matter outside the body.
Depending on the frog species, mating pairs can remain clasped together for hours, days, or months while the eggs are being fertilized.
Do Frogs Give Live Birth?
Fewer than a dozen frog species give live birth to tadpoles. One species in particular that gives live birth is the fanged frog (Limnonectes larvaepartus) that’s located in the rain forests of Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island.
Do Frogs Lay Eggs Without Mating?
Frogs do not lay eggs without mating. Frog eggs require fertilization during the gestation period and eggs that are laid without mating will die by apoptosis if they are not fertilized.
Learn More About Frogs
Now that you know more about tree frogs and how long they can live, you may also be interested in these other educational guides on general frog species:
- What do frogs eat?
- What eats frogs?
- Are frogs dangerous?
- Are frogs friendly?
- How long do tree frogs live?
The Way Frogs Reproduce Summary
You now know the details about how do frogs reproduce.
As you discovered in this guide, most frog species reproduce using external fertilization through a mating posture called amplexus, which is where the male frog grabs onto the female frog’s back and fertilizes the eggs as they are released. However, a few frog species use internal fertilization for reproduction which requires the male frog to transfer sperm into the female frog’s oviduct for the reproduction cycle to work.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.