Frogs in Hawaii?

Love4Gardening(11 HI)September 17, 2004

Hey everybody-

I have a pond on the side of my home and I've noticed in the past couple of weeks that I have a couple of frogs in the pond. I've lived in Hawaii all my life and have seen toads, but these are frogs. What kinds of frogs do we have here in Hawaii? Does anyone know? They're about 3 inches long with a pattern of uneven spots. The back is a darker brown and the underside of the neck is a black and creme colored leopard type pattern...weird. Anyone got any info?

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Check this site out and tell us all what you think. There are a few native frogs in Hawaii and this site can tell you what you are looking for. If it is a frog that dosen't look like it belongs here then you can call a number that is listed for the UH agriculture. If you don't want to touch the frog then you can call them also and they can help you.

Here is the site:

Good luck, Bigb

    Bookmark   September 19, 2004 at 1:26AM
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Love4Gardening(11 HI)

Thanks for the link Bigb. I'm guessing that by the descriptions given I must have a couple of greenhouse frogs. Looks similar to the one in the photo. I'm not sure what to do with them yet. They don't bother me. I just hope they don't invite anymore friends over. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2004 at 3:31PM
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No problem, im glad you found out what they were before you got rid of them.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 4:32AM
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BrianB(9 N CA)

At least 5 new types are frogs are in Hawaii. The Cuban brown, the Puerto Rican Coqui and three poison dart frogs. Any brightly colored frog should be considered deadly poison. I've heard that only the blue and black one has remained poisonous in Hawaii but I'd be careful.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2004 at 4:55AM
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As far as I'm aware of, there are no NATIVE frogs in Hawaii.
Here on the Big Island, we have the coqui frogs (a very loud nuisance), and the greenhouse frog, In fact, I caught 4 greenhouse frogs in my yard yesterday. The concern here is that these invaders will compete with the native birds for available food supplies. So....they are not welcome at all.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2004 at 4:16AM
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raygrogan(Iowa and Hawaii)

Which island are you on? If your frogger is 3" long, that sounds more like a bullfrog. On Oahu they are fairly common in some areas. Ray

    Bookmark   October 25, 2004 at 5:14PM
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Ben_C(z5 UT)

Brian B, what poison dart frogs are established in hawaii? You mention 3 species and I am only familiar with one. I really need to get in contact with you as i am now in Hawaii trying to do some field research on dendrobatids...
thank you very much!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 7:56PM
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Love4Gardening(11 HI)

Hey guys...I hadn't been on the gardenweb in a while and I'd almost forgotten about this thread till I just came across it. Well, since I've last posted I've emptied out the pond and decided on doing something new with the space. It was getting a little to much to maintain. I'm not sure where the frogs have gone. I saw them a day or two after I emptied out the pond and haven't seen them since. Thanks for all your help and info though.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 5:41PM
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There are NO indigenous amphibians in Hawaii. There is only one terrestrial indigenous reptile which is a tiny snake often mistaken for a worm. I wish people would get their facts straight before posting. Disinformation creates a false perception that gets in the way of any productive conversation.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 10:27PM
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Beware if you use the MiracleGrow potting mix, as tiny brown frogs have been known to smuggle in the bags and metamorphose into frogs that live in your compost pile or worm bins.
They may resemble the cocqui but have a weak squeaky cricket chirp instead.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:24PM
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Zig Zag,

Yes, people should get their facts straight before posting. There is currently two types of snakes found in Hawaii. The indigenous venomous sea snake, Pelamis platurus, and the INTRODUCED harmless blind snake, Ramphotyphlops braminus. You are right, as menehune_HI previously posted years ago, there is no native amphibians, like frogs, in Hawaii.


Is this the frog you are talking about in the picture? The largest one I've seen so far is two inches in length, unstretched, but most are very small about half an inch. Sometimes I do find eggs in pots buried in the moist soil, and I leave it alone--more food for the lizard, I thought, which control caterpillars and other bugs in my garden. Before when it was abundant in my garden, I did hear chirping sounds! I thought it was crickets in the area where I put trimmings of guava branches, and when I disturbed that spot I saw lots of small frogs jumping away. The lizards then attacked, it was like a live National Geographic moment, lol.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:58AM
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Randg? have you bought/used MiracleGrow Potting mix in the green bag? Or maybe received plants from somewhere/one who used the media?

I reported this to DOA and they wanted to come over and do a field search and uproot some plants. I told them where to go, but that's another topic.

Unfortunately they really get down on individuals bringing in accidental or exotic animals, yet do absolutely nothing for garden centers that bring in pest species by way of potting mixes, and plants.

These do make chirping sounds and I believe they belong to the species avivoca or "bird voiced" frogs and are related to Coqui frogs.

The image of the frog you have is more colorful than the one I have seen which are more brown with big dark brown eyes. I believe they have big eyes because they are nocturnal and do not come out during the day.

They actually eat a lot of compost bugs that lives in the leaf liter and wet places.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 3:37PM
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I don't know where or how I got this frog, it's more likely hitchiked from the pots of plants I bought from either in big commercial stores like Home Depot and Lowes, or from swapmeet-like events where potted plants are for sale and a lot chepaer. I only bought MiracleGrow Potting mix once before and that was years ago, I prefer generic brands that cost less (although I rarely buy potting mix).

The frog pictures is old, I took it more than couple years ago.

I think the frog in the picture is more colorful than the one you see is because morning sunshine enhanced it's color. Under regular light, it's just plain brown with dark brown specks.

I also sent picture to Ask a Bishop Museum Scientist flickr account before, which no longer monitor the group. Here is the reply:
This little frog is probably a greenhouse frog, but a small bufo (cane toad) can look like this also. The difference would be whether or not it has toe pads. If it does, it's a greenhouse frog.

Pumehana Igeta
Vertebrate Zoology
Bishop Museum

I don't hear them anywhere, either the population went down because of my disturbance or either the increased number of brown anole lizards. I used to have an abundance of green anole lizards, now I rarely see them.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 6:25PM
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The brown anole has wiped out so many of the day geckoes I used to feed and used to have thousands of these welcomed green neon colored lizzies around. Now I only see the fast brown anoles.

The brown frog I have is nocturnal so they never see each other and they are different than what you have. The eyes on mine are definitely brown, not reddish.
Plus they never like being out perched on anything. Just in leaf litter, my worm bin and dislike water.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:09PM
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The frog on the picture was forced to stay on the leaf, which I was holding with my left hand, while my right is holding the camera.

The frogs I have I believe is nocturnal, too. Its only visible during the daytime when I moved potted plants and clean up leaf litter.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 4:33PM
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They're definitely different, yours have more color and the ones I have have very dark large eyes on them.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 10:52PM
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