Rights: University of Waikato Published 3 November 2009 Download


Native New Zealand frogs have a very interesting type of life cycle. Most frogs will lay thousands of eggs and then disappear and leave the eggs to their own devices, and obviously you get huge mortality, whereas New Zealand frogs lay only a few eggs, but they look after them. They’re big eggs. After about 4 or 5 weeks, they’ll eventually hatch out into almost fully developed froglets with a little tail, so then – no tadpole stage, the tadpole stage happens in the egg – and when they hatch out, they’ve got this little froglet. And the little froglets then climb up onto dad’s back, and they sit on dad’s back absorbing their tails. A couple of months later, they are big enough and they hop away and lead their own lives. And that’s very different from the introduced species.

Acknowledgement: University of Waikato