My Frogs Are In The Family Way!

My frogs are going to be parents!

The day before yesterday I noticed that Torpedo looked like she had some translucent eggs coming out of, for lack of a better word, her bum1! From what I’d read about frog mating, the male latches onto the female and she does somersaults, releasing eggs, which the male then fertilizes. I thought that perhaps we didn’t have any males because the eggs were coming out of her without any mating activity, but I still made sure to keep an eye on the tank and, lo and behold, last night I found 2 fertilized frog eggs2 floating on the surface!

I’d read that, left to their own devices, frogs will eat their own eggs or, if the eggs go unnoticed, they will definitely eat the tadpoles because they are attracted by the movement. So we scooped up the two eggs and put them into a bowl of water that we keep next to the tank, at the ready for topping up the tank3.

This is what an African dwarf frog egg looks like in high def:


The brown circle is the egg. The two little circles beside it are bubbles and I think that’s just a hair underneath it. Because frogs eggs don’t actually look like a frowny face with a giant nose.

Apparently the survival rate of the tadpoles is quite low – even if you have perfect water conditions – so I was disappointed that we only had 2 eggs. So imagine my surprise when I came home from work today and there were 40 more eggs!

They are very tiny, so it’s hard to get a good photo of them, but here’s a few floating on the surface of the bowl of water that we are affectionately calling “The Nursery”:


And here’s a top view of The Nursery:


Can you believe something that tiny develops into a whole frog?! Isn’t Biology awesome?!

I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, as I know that it’s very hard to get the eggs to hatch and then to get the tadpoles to survive to become froglets and then to get the froglets to survive to adult size so that they can go back in the tank with our other froggies. But ohmygod I want baby froglets!

Here’s one of the frogs looking at the bowl of water The Nursery from inside his tank:


I think he’s the dad, but he’s demanding a DNA test before he’s willing to pay any froglet support.

  1. OK, technically the word is her “cloaca”, but I figured you wouldn’t know what that was. Well, except for Erika & Linda, who would totally know what that is because they are zoologists. So I suppose I should say “for lack of a better word that anyone other than Erika or Linda would know). []
  2. You can tell it’s fertilized because it’s brown instead of translucent. []
  3. Water seems to evaporate quite quickly from the tank, so we have to top it up every few days. We prep the water by putting this dechlorination stuff into it, so we always keep a bowl of it handy. []