Frogs are both Male and Female and It Takes Both of Them to produce fertile eggs that will hatch into tadpoles of both Genders. Their Reproductive organs are hidden within the frog’s body making it very hard visually to tell the difference between the sexes. Male and female frogs can be differentiated during their breeding season.
There are a number of morphological differences on the basis of which the gender of frogs can be identified especially during their mating behavior. The appearance of males and females is usually similar in most of the species with a little clue to identify the gender.
If the males of a particular species are colored bright or dull, then so are the females.
Are Frogs Unisex, Pollution Causing Behavior Modification
Some frogs become unisex due to the effect of a certain chemical.
A recent experiment in California shows that 30 percent of the male frogs that grew up in the water with atrazine started to behave like unisex. The chemicals produced by these frogs attract other male frogs. This chemical is used as a weed killer. That’s the reason this chemical is considered a pollutant of surface water of crops.
Male and Female Frog Size
To put up for the amphibian’s reproductive process called Amplexus, females of many species are larger in size as compared to males. In the mating process, the male rides on the female and remain till she discharges the eggs. The male spreads a top layer of his sperms soon after the discharge of the eggs by the female.
It is believed that the size of the female is larger because she has to support and bear the weight of the male frog during the mating process. The larger body helps her to accommodate a large number of eggs and also supports the transport process. Moreover, the small size of males helps the female to bear his weight and prevents her from crushing during the mating process.
Hidden Reproductive Organs
Male and female frogs have differing genitals, but even this fact is not particularly accessible in determining if an individual frog is male or female. This is because frog genitalia for both genders is housed within the frogs’ body. The male does not possess a penis and the sperms are directly ejected by cloaca onto the eggs.
There are two testicles and the spermatic canal linked to the cloaca. The female body contains ovaries linked to the oviduct which leads to the uterus. Eggs are stored in the uterus for some time before releasing them out of the body and are not involved in the developmental process.
Other Physical Differences between the Sexes
There is a small round membrane known as the tympanum membrane which covers the ears of both male and female frogs. Mostly, the circumference of this membrane is larger in males as compared to the size of the eyes. In females, the circumference of this membrane is almost the same as the size of the eye.
Male Gripper Pads
During the mating season, to accommodate the amplexus, males develop the gripper pads on their thumbs.The females do not grow these pads.
Color of Vocal Sacs
Moreover, the throat as well as the vocal sacs of males also turns dark during the mating season and can help to distinguish the males from females. Otherwise, male and female frogs of each species tend to have the same coloring.
Male Only Behaviours in Frogs
A number of behaviors are common in both, males and females, including camouflage and skin shedding as well as eating habits. But there are a couple of behaviors in which only males are involved.
The singing behavior to attract the partner during the mating process is only observed in males. Similarly, only males climb or hug during Amplexus and ride on females.
Male frogs do not restrict performing this behavior to only female frogs but also show the same climbing and holding different substrates like logs, rock, shoes, backpacks, and trees until or unless the mood passes.
How to Identify Gender of your Frog?
First, we have to identify the species of the frog before identifying whether they are male or female. This is because the characteristics vary from species to species.
Appearance, mating behavior, and calls can be good gauges of frog gender if the species is known. If you are unable to identify a frog’s species, consult a veterinarian or other expert who specializes in amphibians.
Appearance: Tips to Differentiate
One of the standard methods is to determine the size of the frog. Usually, the size of the male is smaller as compared to the female in most of the frog species, so can be considered as a standard. In a few species, the males are darker as compared to the females, while in others the females appear darker than the males. Moreover, there are different spots and markings that vary in both males and females.
Size of Tympanum in Male Frogs
You can often identify a male frog from a female by looking at the area next to each eye on the outside of the frog’s body. The area has a cover that appears round in shape and is known as the tympanum or eardrum. The tympanum in males of many species including carpenter frog, bullfrog, and green frog appears larger as compared to the size of the eye while is smaller or of the same size in female frogs
Mating / Male Riding
You can observe frogs’ mating behavior to identify their gender. During the breeding season, the male climbs on the back of the female frog. He hops on both males and females in the process of looking for female mates, but he will stay on a female, climbing onto the female’s back and holding onto her as she lays eggs. During the mating season, male frogs’ throats are darker in color than female frogs’ throats are.
Calls and Sounds / Males and Females
Mostly, it is observed that the sounds are produced by males only to attract the females for the mating process. However, in certain species, frogs of both sexes call. In such species, the sounds produced by both genders are different.
When male produce sounds to attract the female, the vocal sacs present in his neck inflates and become three times larger as compared to the size of his head. A number of male frogs might sing and produce the sounds at the same time to attract females.
This behavior is sometimes also repeated to keep other males away from the territory and to show their possession of the female. They typically make most of their vocalizations at night, but you can sometimes hear them calling during the day, too.
Why Your Frog Inflate?
Frogs can puff up other parts of their bodies for various reasons which are as following;
Inflating, or making themselves look bigger, can be a defense mechanism used by frogs. When the predator threats a frog, many species inflate themselves to appear bigger in front of their predators. This behavior is to show themselves really big and to show that they are hard to swallow. The tomato frogs of Madagascar show the same behavior as explained by the Exploratorium.
To Avoid Sex
It turns out girl amphibians will use size to their advantage when they are not open to the sexual advances of a potential male suitor. The mating process of the frog is called amplexus in which the male hops on the female’s back and holds her with the fore limbs. They remain in this position while she lays eggs, and he fertilizes them.
To Get Sex
The males usually send messages and sounds for mating, as observed in many species. During the sound production, the vocal sacs are inflated, which helps to amplify their sound when the air rushes in their vocal cords.
To Communicate With Each Other
Sounds produced by the vocal sacs are not always to attract the partner in the mating process. Sometimes these sounds are produced for communication among different members.
Why Frogs Cling on Each Other?
While crossing any water body like rivers or large water puddles, you might have observed two frogs hoping to one another.
This is a behavior called amplexus: it allows the male frog to place his cloaca near the females to fertilize her eggs.
Frog Life Cycle
Starting life as an aquatic, fertilized egg, frogs then emerge from their eggs as tadpoles. The tadpoles slowly develop rear legs and then front legs as they grow. The tadpoles feed on different phytoplankton, a variety of small algal species, small invertebrates, and organic matter as well as other tadpoles.
Most frogs travel to aquatic sites for mating and egg deposition. Once there, male frogs will emit loud advertisement calls; sometimes they must compete with other males for prime locations. The process of fertilization takes place outside the body of females in the external environment.
In a few species, the males hop on the females and spread their sperms soon after the female releases them from their bodies. This fertilizes the eggs. In a few species, the breeding ball behavior is observed in which a single female is encircled by many males, and females are usually drowned during this process.
Adaptations for Amplexus
The slime on many frogs makes the mating process difficult as the males might slip. The slippery skin appears as a barrier to grip the female properly. To accommodate this hurdle, many males have swollen forelimbs, enlarged thumbs, and the structures to grip the females.
Among other species, leopard frogs, pickerel frogs, and American toads (Bufo americanus) display these structures. In many species, these structures serve as tools to identify gender during the breeding season.
The highly unusual, tailed frog takes amplexus a step further: the tail of these frogs is a copulatory organ that allows these frogs to achieve internal fertilization the only species known to do so.
Mostly, the males hop on the other males of their species and as a result, the releasing calls are made. These calls are made to alert the other male and offend him to release them.
The study showed that in many locations, mixed species breeding opportunities were more common, and produced a great deal of hybrid offspring. Many researchers have documented the males hoping on females of other species and decomposing them as well as with other objects like plastics.
It is difficult to tell the difference in the sexes of male and female frogs. That leads to the assumption that they are unsex. Their reproductive organs are hidden within their bodies. Differences in
- Vocal Cords
- Behavior during Breeding
Frogs/Toads Habitat and Facts
|Amphibian Type Type||Foods||Adult Size||Vivarium Type||Eggs / Live||Temperament|
Aggressive - Eat Young
|Surinam Toad||Carnivorous||8"||Aquatic||100 Eggs||Aggressive||South America||$ 49.99|
|Dwarf Clawed Frog||Carnivorous||1.5"||Semi-Aquatic||750-1000 Eggs||Social||Africa||$ 19.50|
|African Clawed Frog||Carnivorous||5"||Aquatic||1000-2000 Eggs||Aggressive||Africa||$ 19.50|
|European Common Frog||Carnivorous||4"||Semi-Aquatic||400-1000 Eggs||Social||Europe, Central Asia||$ 69.99|
|Leopard Frog||Carnivorous||3.5"||Semi-Aquatic||400-1000 Eggs||Aggressive||Canada, Mexico||$ 39.99|
|Ornate Horned Frog||Carnivorous||5"||Tropical Woodland||1000 Eggs||Aggressive||Argentina||$ 64.99|
|Painted Frog||Carnivorous||3"||Semi-Aquatic||500 Eggs||Aggressive||Asia||$ 29.99|
|Marble Frog||Insects||2.5"||Tropical Woodland||200 Eggs||Social||Africa||?|
|Southern Tomato Frog||Carnivorous||4"||Tropical Woodland||1000 Eggs||Aggressive||Africa||$ 29.99|
|Golden Mantella Frog||Insects||1.5"||Tropical Woodland||20-30 Eggs||Aggressive||Africa||$ 69.99|
|Poison Arrow frogs||Insects||1.5"||Tropical Woodland||5-10 Eggs||Social||South Amewrica||$ 44 - $ 99|
|Eurasian Green Tree Frog||Insects||2"||Tropical Woodland||200 Eggs||Aggressive||Europe||?|
|American Green Tree Frog||Insects||1.5"||Tropical Woodland||700 Eggs||Aggressive||USA||$ 9.99|
|American Gray Tree Frog||Insects||2"||Tropical Woodland||2000 Eggs||Aggressive||USA||$ 19.99|
|Red Eyed Tree Frog||Insects||3"||Semi-Aquatic||75 Eggs||Aggressive||Central America||$ 49 - $ 174|
|Red Crevice Creeper||Carnivorous||2"||Semi-Aquatic||600 Eggs||Social||Africa||?|
|White's Tree Frog||Carnivorous||4.5"||Tropical Woodland||150 Eggs||Aggressive||Australia||$ 49 - $ 108|
|Asian Tree Frog||Insects||3"||Tropical Woodland||20-60 Eggs||Aggressive||Asia||?|
|Couche's Spadefoot Toad||Insects||3"||Savannah||200-250 Eggs||Aggressive||Europe||$ 19.99|
|Common European Toad||Carnivorous||6"||Temperature Woodland||2,000 - 10,000 Eggs||Aggressive||Europe Asia||$ 9.99|
|American Toad||Carnivorous||3.5||Temperature Woodland||4,000 - 8,000 Eggs||Aggressive||USA||$ 9.99|
|Green Toad||Carnivorous||6"||Temperature Woodland||12,000 - 18,000 Eggs||Aggressive||Africa, ASIA||$ 11.99|
|American Green Toad||Insects||2"||Temperature Woodland||150 Eggs||Social||USA||$ 11.99|
|Red Spotted Toad||Insects||3"||Savannah||2000 Eggs||Aggressive||USA, Mexico||$ 9.99|
|Oak Toad||Insects||1"||Temperature Woodland||500-800 Eggs||Social||North America||$ 8.99|
|Giant Toad||Carnivorous||10"||Temperature Woodland||20,000-30,000 Eggs||Aggressive||Australia||$ 49.99|
|Oriental Fire Bellied Toad||Insects||2"||Semi-aquatic||300 Eggs||Social||China, Korea, USSR||$ 15 - $ 25|
|European Fire Bellied Toad||Insects||2"||Semi-aquatic||80-140 Eggs||Social||Europe||$ 99|
|Yellow Bellied Toad||Insects||2"||Semi-aquatic||25-150 Eggs||Social||Europe||$ 49.99|
|American Bull Frog||Carnivorous||8"||Semi-aquatic||12,000-25,000||Aggressive||North America||$ 9.99|
|African Bull Frog||Carnivorous||8"||Savannah||10,000 - 12,000 Eggs||Aggressive||Africa||$ 9.99|
|Asiatic Horned Toad||Insects||6"||Tropical Woodland||500-700 Eggs||Aggressive||Asia||$ 9.99|