Buckeye Herps Blog

A photographic journal of the reptiles and amphibians of Ohio, Michigan and other places interesting wildlife call home.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hawai'i Frogs

One would think Hawai'i should be covered with frogs.  It is a warm, lush, tropical paradise that gets ton of rain a year.  Seems perfect for frogs right?  Like other herps, there are actually no native Hawai'ian frogs.  A few have been introduced over the years, and while they thrive, by no means are they the most common herps one will encounter.  I was suprised by the relatively small numer of species that could be found on the islands.

First and foremost for me, I spent much time looking for poison-dart frogs.  In Hawai'i?  Yep.  Back in the day (early 20th century) these frogs were released as an attempt to control mosquitos.  This of course failed miserably, but the frogs still persist in pockets and were fairly easy to find, in the right places.

Green and black poison dart frog - Dendrobates auratus

I had seen one of these animals in their native range in Costa Rica and was pretty excited to try for them again.  I spent numerous days hiking a bunch of different trails that they turn up on without anything to show for it.  With an awesome tip though, I found tons in a relatively disturbed area.

Clean the darn buggers off...
I went big early though, and unfortunately, the rest of the frogs leave much to be desired...

Cane Toads Bufo marinus we saw frequently on Kauai and Oahu.  I have some strong distaste for them though and only took marginal pictures at best.

These frogs are invading the world.  They are responsible for an epidemic in Australia and can be found in Texas, Florida, and many other tropical areas.  They are virtually impossible to eradicate and have the potential for doing great harm to other native animals.

The last frog I saw is the Greenhouse Frog Eleutherodactylus planirostris.  One of my co-workers showed my pictures of them at his house so I went out to check them out.  I have seen these before in Florida.

These frogs are pretty tiny but were easily found after dark.  His kids proved excellent at finding these and turned up 3 or 4 after a few minutes.

I never did hear or see the ubiquitous Coqui frogs that everyone on Hawaii is complaining about.  I also unfortunately missed out on some other cool frogs, primarily the wrinkled toad from Asia.



  1. I would love to go hiking with my grandkids and show them the frogs. Would you possibly let me know where to look for them. I live on Maui but do get to the other islands periodically.
    Mahalo, Paul

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