Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community Green Vacation Rentals

Hedonisia Hawaii Botanical Plant Inventory

Coqui Frogs

Name of Animal: Coqui Frogs

Type of Animal:  Invasive species

1) Animal History & General Information:

a) Scientific Name:  Eleutherodactylus coqui

b) Region of Origin:  Puerto Rico

c) General History:  The coqui is a small tree frog slightly larger than 2.5 cm (1 in) long. Round body shape. It’s coloration is variable from light yellow to dark brown and has a round body shape, broad rounded snout and obvious toe pads. It has a quite loud and distinctive “ko-kee” vocalization and has been named by National Geographic as the noisiest amphibian on earth!  This sound serves two purposes. “KO” serves to repel males and establish territory while the “KEE” serves to attract females. Since the auditory systems of males and females respond preferentially to different notes of the male call, this is an example of a sex difference in a sensory system. These small frogs eat very large amounts of insects, devestating insect populations on forest floors and treetops.  Some claim that they can also compete with endemic birds and other native fauna that rely on insects for food, however this has been debated and recent studies claim that this is not the case.

Coqui frogs do not travel very far on their own, but when given the chance to hop on a nursery plant, flowers, or vehicle, they can quickly spread. Most coqui arrive on new islands through infested nursery plants and flowers. Intra-island, coqui travel by the movement of plants by humans and may hitch a ride on vehicles. The coqui frog is currently widespread on the island of Hawaiʻi, but is only known to be in a few locations on the island of Maui, Kauaʻi, and Oʻahu. They are not present on Molokaʻi or Lanaʻi.

d) As Food:  Coqui frogs are inedible and should not be consumed.

e) Controlling Spread:  With no natural predators to keep populations in check (and no natural competitors), populations have reached 55,000 frogs per hectare in some parts of Hawaii.

f) History of this Animal at Hedonisia:  The coqui frogs were accidentally introduced to the island of Hawaii in 1988, supposedly by hitching a ride on potted plants.  While we consider these small frogs and their distinctive call part of the rainforest ambience, some guests find their vocalizations a bit too much and have some trouble sleeping.  Although it is rare, for those guests who know they are light sleepers, we recommend bringing a pair of earplugs, just in case.

g) Location on Property:  All parts of property and lodgings.