Parental Care in Frogs and Toads


Usually when frogs breed, the parents part ways and the eggs are left to fend for themselves but some species of frogs and toads provide care for the eggs and younglings. There are many different ways that the frogs provide care for their offspring. How much care that frogs provide has been suggested to be based on the size of the water that the eggs are laid in. The larger the body of water, the less care. I will describe some of the ways that frogs and toads care for their young.

Some frogs stick around the nesting area to protect the eggs from predators and the environment. Male African Bullfrogs (Pyxicephalus adspersus) protect their tadpole offspring from birds and other animals trying to eat them. They also create paths for the tadpoles to move from drying up ponds to filled ponds.

African Bullfrog
Darwin Frog

Some frogs brood their eggs by sitting on them like birds do. The male Darwin Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) actually broods their young in their vocal sac instead of sitting on them. An extinct frog  genus, the Gastric Brooding Frogs (Rheobatrachus) actually brooded their young in their stomach.


Gastric Brooding Frog

A variety of frogs make nests out of foam to keep their eggs safe. The foam creates perfect environmental conditions for the eggs while also protecting them from diseases and fungus. Often these nests over hang water bodies so when the tadpoles emerge from the eggs, they drop into the water.


Foam Nest

The female Surinam Toad (Pipa Pipa) is a strange frog. When mating, the eggs are actually laid on the female’s back. The eggs grow into the frog’s skin until they hatch and small froglets pop out.

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