Coqui frog (Eleutherodactylus coqui)
Hawai’i Injurious Wildlife (Exhibit 5, Chapter 13-124)
Prevention and Control Category:
Coqui are currently a rapid response species for the Hawai’i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and the Island Invasive Species Committees (ISCs) for all islands.
The coqui is a small tree frog slightly larger than 2.5 cm (1 in) long, with colors varying from light yellow to dark brown. It has a round body shape and a broad rounded snout with obvious toe pads. They also make a distinctive “ko-kee” vocalization that can be easily heard. They are found on ground level and in trees and bushes, but their calls are primarily made from 1-2m (3-7 feet) high.
Listen to the distinctive coqui call: https://soundcloud.com/early-detection/sets/coqui-greenhouse-frog-vocalizations and https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCCC715BD4F160D0C
No natural predators or competitors to keep populations in check. Populations have reached 55,000 frogs per hectare in some Hawai’i populations (Compared to 24,000 frogs per hectare in their native habitat, Puerto Rico).
Eat huge quantities of insects, removing insects from forest floor to treetops. This results in the loss of insect services, such as pollination.
Disrupt the balance of vulnerable native ecosystems
Potential food source for snakes if they were to arrive
Loud, incessant and annoying call from dusk until dawn
Adverse economic impacts on tourism
Decreased export plant sales
Disclosure requirement for real estate transactions, has resulted in decreased property values in some locations
Coqui frogs do not travel very far on their own, but when given the chance to hop on a nursery plant, flowers, or vehicle, they can quickly spread. Most coqui arrive on new islands through infested nursery plants and flowers. Intra-island, coqui travel by the movement of plants by humans and may hitch a ride on vehicles.
- Hawai’i Island: The coqui frog is currently widespread on the Big Island.
- Maui: 13 known populations in and around nurseries, hotels, residential areas and several large natural areas
- O’ahu: Coqui frogs are not widespread on O’ahu. In April 2021, a population was found in Waimanalo. The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Invasive Species Council, Oahu Invasive Species Committee and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are working together to control the population.
- Kaua’i, Moloka’i, and Lana’i: Coqui frogs are not found on these 3 islands.
What you can do:
If you see this species on Maui, O’ahu, Kaua’i, Moloka’i, or Lana’i, call 643-PEST and/or visit 643pest.org to report it!
Greenhouse frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris):
The greenhouse frog is widespread throughout Hawai’i. This small tree frog is usually slightly smaller than 2.5 cm (1 in). Usually copper colored with WARTY TEXTURED SKIN. Narrower snout and less distinct toepads than the coqui frog. CRICKET-LIKE VOCALIZATION. Found only on the ground.
For more information, see:
- Eleutherodactyluc coqui Datasheet from CABI
- Eleutherodactylus coqui information from BISC
- Controlling Coqui Frogs from BISC
- Coqui Frog Identification Tips from MISC
- Top 5 Coqui Catching Tips from MISC
- Greenhouse frog Vs. Coqui Frog from CTAHR