One of the most frequently asked questions about frogs is on the number of eggs they lay. People also express interest in knowing when frogs lay their eggs, where they lay their eggs, and how the eggs look like. In this article, we shall be answering all these and other related questions.
How many eggs do frogs lay? Typically, frogs lay eggs in thousands. The specific number will depend on the frog species, as well as the conditions that the frog finds itself in. In most frog species, you are looking at anything between 2,000 and 20,000.
There are, of course, some frog species that lay very few eggs. The poison dart frog, for instance, may lay as few as 2 eggs. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the likes of the cane toad, which can lay as many as 25,000 eggs at once.
When making reference to ‘frogs’, we have to remember that we are not looking at a single entity. There are as many as 7,000 frog species, and each is unique. There are even some that give birth to live froglets, rather than laying eggs!
What Do Frog Eggs Look Like?
Typically, the eggs laid by frogs have a jelly-like appearance. The eggs are usually in clusters (also called clutches), covered by a jelly-like substance. They look like chia seeds. More specifically, they look like big blobs of chia seeds, thickened by water absorption. This is with the exception of toad eggs, which typically look like strings of beads, rather than clusters of seeds.
Frog eggs are usually to be found sticking on vegetation in ponds or shallow pools of water.
Do Frogs Lay Eggs On Land?
Before proceeding to answer the question on how many eggs do frogs lay, it is important to first find out where they lay their eggs. Because frogs live both in water and on land, an interesting question arises. That is as to whether the frogs lay their eggs only in water, or on land (where they also live). So, do frogs lay eggs on land? The answer is that majority of frog species lay eggs on water. But there are a few that indeed lay eggs on land.
Generally, a frog laying eggs on land is the exception, rather than the rule. The frogs that lay eggs on land/outside the water include glass frogs, Solomon Island frogs and Morelet’s tree frogs.
How Many Eggs Do Frogs Lay Per Day?
The question on how many eggs do frogs lay per day is an interesting one. That is because there is great variation in the number of eggs that frogs are able to lay per day. There are some, like the poison dart frog, that may lay only a couple of eggs per day.
There are others, like the cane toad, that may release as many as 20,000 eggs at once, in a single day. Most typical species seem to be in the 500 to 10,000 eggs per day range.
It is important to remember that frogs don’t usually lay eggs one after the other (the way chickens do). Rather, female frogs typically release eggs for a particular breeding season all at once. After that, the eggs are fertilized by the males through amplexus, then left alone (save for a few species that hang on to protect the eggs and the resultant tadpoles).
Still there are also species in which the female may lay as many as 20 to 30 clusters of eggs (sequentially) per season, rather than laying just one cluster once. This further complicates the answer to the how many eggs do frogs lay per day question.
Ultimately, the main determinant of how many eggs do frogs lay at one time is the species. That, by extension, is also the determinant of how many tadpoles can a frog have or how many babies do frogs have.
How Many Eggs Do Frogs Lay Per Year?
The number of eggs that frogs lay per year depends mostly on the frog species. Some, like the cane toad, will lay as many as 20,000 or even 30,000. Others, like the poison dart frog, will lay as few as 2-12. But if you are looking for an average figure, we can put that at 500 to 10,000.
That is because the frogs that lay as few as 2 eggs per year are a rarity. So are the frogs that lay as many as 25,000 to 30,000 eggs per year. Most species seem to be in the 500 to 10,000 eggs range.
A question may also arise, as to how many times do frogs lay eggs a year? And the answer is that it depends on the climatic setup that the frogs find themselves in. So you find that in the temperate climates, the frogs may only lay their eggs once per year (in spring).
On the other hand, in tropical climates, the frogs may be in a position to lay eggs throughout the year. Thus, how many eggs do amphibians lay per year greatly depends on the climatic setup they are in.
To put it differently, the number of breeding seasons possible per year affects how many eggs they lay. Frogs in places where they only have a chance to lay eggs once per year will typically produce very many eggs at once. Those in places where they have opportunity to lay eggs throughout the year will typically produce fewer eggs at a time (but multiple times). So that is an important consideration in determining how many tadpoles do frogs lay per year.
How Many Eggs Do Frogs Lay At A Time?
Some frogs are able to lay only a couple of eggs at a time. Others are able to lay tens of thousands of eggs (up to 25,000 or even 30,000) at a time. It is mainly the frog’s species that determines how many eggs can a frog lay at once.
Thus anyone who poses how many eggs does a frog lay at once is typically required to be more specific about the frog species. Once you name a species, it becomes easier to state how many eggs does a frog lay at a time.
For a species like the Pacman, you may be looking at between 1,000 and 2,000 eggs at a time. In another one like the African clawed frog, you will be looking at between 500 and 2,000 eggs at time.
And for yet another species like the Cane Toad, the figure is between 8,000 and 25,000 eggs a time. Thus, to get insight on how many eggs frog lay at one time, you have to consider the species.
All in all, in answering the question on how many eggs does a frog lay at one time, we see that there is a huge variation. It is similar to trying to answer the question on how often do frogs reproduce or how often do frogs mate – there is so much variation.
It is also similar to the question on when do frog lay eggs time of year: there is great variation. And that is really hardly surprising, when we consider that there are more than 7,000 frog species, each unique in its own way.
Why Do Frogs Lay So Many eggs At A Time?
The question on how many eggs do frogs lay is typically followed by another one on why do frogs lay so many eggs at a time. As it turns out, frogs lay so many eggs at a time in order to increase chances of survival. There are many animals that feed on the frog eggs.
Furthermore, when we consider the fact that the frogs don’t typically protect their eggs once they lay them, we see that chances of the eggs getting physically damaged are high. There is also the risk of some eggs drying out.
Thus, in laying so many eggs at time, the frogs are playing a game of numbers. They figure that even some of the eggs are eaten, some trampled upon, some dry out, still at least a few will survive to keep the species going.
How Many Frog Eggs Survive?
The question on how many eggs do frogs lay is also typically followed by another on how many frog eggs survive. As it turns out, the survival rate for frog eggs is low. This is because the frogs usually don’t protect the eggs, after laying them. At least this is what we are typically told, when we pose the question on do frogs stay with their eggs?
Moreover, some of the eggs are prone to drying out (they require lots of moisture to survive and hatch). Some may get trampled upon, or otherwise damaged. And there is also the risk of the eggs being eaten by other creatures… In the final analysis, only 1 out of 50 eggs may actually survive.
However, for species that actually follow up on their eggs and protect them, survival rates are higher. That is the case, for instance, in the poison dart frog – in which the egg survival rate can go up to between 50 and 100 percent.
Even when the eggs manage to survive long enough to hatch, there is no guarantee that the resultant tadpoles will survive. The statistics for how many tadpoles survive are rather pessimistic. You may find that out of 50 tadpoles that hatch from a particular frog egg clutch, only 2 or 3 live long enough to reproduce. This ultimately explains why do frogs produce so many eggs.
Then again, not all frog eggs that are laid are fertile. Naturally, the eggs that are not fertile won’t survive/hatch. As a matter of fact, how to tell if frog eggs are fertile is an important topic in frog reproduction. Thus some of the eggs turn out to be infertile. And even for those that are fertile, survival rates tend to be abysmally low.
How Many Eggs Do African Dwarf Frogs Lay?
African Dwarf frogs are among those that lay relatively huge numbers of eggs. The figure is typically in the 7,000 to 8,000 eggs per year. Of course, only a few of these are able to hatch and survive long enough to be mature frogs capable of reproducing.
How Many Eggs Do Tree Frogs Lay?
It depends on the specific type of tree frog. Some lay just a few hundred (like 500). Others lay thousands upon thousands (as many as 10,000). The tree frog species that lay their eggs on water typically produce more. Those that lay their eggs off water (for instance, on the leaves of plants above water ponds) tend to produce fewer eggs.
How Many Eggs Do Green Tree Frogs Lay?
Typically, green tree frogs will lay between 400 and 500 eggs. Therefore green tree frogs are in the category of frogs that lay relatively modest numbers of eggs. But then again, their eggs have better survival rates: given where the green tree frogs lay them (and also given these eggs better protective jelly).
How Many Eggs Do Red Eyed Tree Frogs Lay?
Red eyed tree frogs are in the category of frogs that offer quite a bit of protection to their eggs, post-laying. For this reason, egg survival chances are higher. Consequently, they only lay a few eggs (like 20 to 40), on leaves of trees above water ponds. Then they protect them so well than a considerable number actually hatch into tadpoles and drop into the water below.
How Many Eggs Do Pacman Frogs Lay?
Pacmans are among the frogs that lay relatively big numbers of eggs. Typically, a Pacman will lay 1,500 to 2,000 eggs.
How Many Tadpoles Do Toads Lay?
There are many different toad species. The number of eggs/tadpoles laid depends on the species. For instance, the golden toad may lay up to 230 eggs, a good number of which hatch into tadpoles. The European fire-belied toad, on the other hand, may only lay 10 to 40 eggs, many of which turn into tadpoles. For the common toad, the figure is 3,000 to 6,000 eggs, but only relatively few manage to hatch.
For the cane toad, the figure may be 8,000 to 25,000 eggs, though only a very small fraction will actually hatch into tadpoles.
How Many Eggs Do Dart Frogs Lay?
Dart frogs are among those that are only able to lay a modest number of eggs. Some lay as few as just 2 – but then protect them so well that they grow into maturity. Even the dart frogs that lay ‘many’ eggs (by their standards) are only able to lay a few dozen: usually in the 20 to 40 eggs range.
How Many Eggs Do Poison Dart Frogs Lay?
As we said while answering the how many eggs do frogs lay question earlier in this article, poison dart frogs are among those that lay very few eggs. It is not uncommon for a poison dart frog to lay just 2 eggs. Even when it lays more, the number hardly ever goes beyond 12.
Then again, it is important to remember that a poison dart frog is able to follow up on its eggs, and offer very high levels of protection. Thus, a poison dart frog that lays 5 eggs may end up with more mature offspring than some other frog that lays thousands of eggs but doesn’t protect them.
How Many Eggs Do African Clawed Frogs Lay?
African Clawed frogs typically lay between 500 and 2,000 eggs. Some end up being food for other creatures in the pond. Others dry out. Others get trampled upon or otherwise mechanically damaged. But a few somehow survive, and hatch into tadpoles.
Final Verdict – How Many Eggs Do Frogs Lay
As we have seen, the number of eggs laid varies from one frog species to another. There are frog species that lay as few as 2 eggs. There are others that lay as many as 25,000 to 30,000 eggs.
We have frog species that are only able to lay one clutch of eggs per breeding season. We have others that can produce several dozen clutches of eggs per breeding season. All in all, frogs typically lay many eggs to increase chances of survival.