How Long Do Frog Eggs Take to Hatch? (86 Species+ Charts

When the winter ends and the warmer spring temperatures come, frogs and other amphibians will emerge from their overwintering spots, and head to the water to mate and lay their eggs. But have you ever wondered how long frog eggs take to hatch?

In general, frog eggs take anywhere from 12 hours to as long as 45 days to hatch depending on the species and environmental conditions. Frog eggs will typically develop and hatch faster in warmer temperatures, and slower in colder temperatures.

Many frogs lay their eggs during early spring when water temperatures are near freezing. To increase developmental temperatures some frogs, such as leopard frogs bunch their eggs together.

This raises the temperature of the embryos compared to the surrounding water – helping accelerate tadpole development.

However, when the weather is warmer, some frogs are more likely to lay their egg masses separately.

How Long the Eggs of 86 Frog Species Take to Hatch

There are over 6,000 species of frogs around the world. They live in a very wide range of habitats, from humid forests, to dry regions.

Different species of frogs have adapted to their environment and developed breeding methods that are practical for the areas they live in.

How long the eggs of a particular frog take to hatch can vary dramatically between species.

The eggs of some frogs such as the Northern sheep frog typically hatch in less than 24 hours, while the eggs of the Coastal-tailed frog take up to 6 weeks to hatch.

Below is a table that shows approximately how long the eggs of 30 frog species take to hatch.

Frog Species
Scientific Name
How Long Their Eggs Take to Hatch (Days)
Wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus 9 – 30
Pickerel Frog Lithobates palustris 10 – 21
Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens 7 – 17
American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus 3 – 5
Green frog Rana clamitans 3 – 7
Northern green frog Lithobates clamitans melanota 3 – 5
Bronze frog Lithobates clamitans clamitans 3 – 7
African bullfrog Pyxicephalus adspersus 1 – 2
Pacman frog Ceratophrys 2 – 3
Mink frog Lithobates septentrionalis 5 – 14
River frog Rana heckscheri 10 – 15
Crawfish frog Lithobates areolatus 3 – 12
Pig Frog Rana grylio 2 – 3
Coastal tailed frog Ascaphus truei 28 – 45
Carpenter frog Rana virgatipes 5 – 10
Northern red-legged frog Rana aurora 21 – 45
California red-legged frog Rana draytonii 6 – 14
Foothill yellow-legged frog Rana boylii 5 – 37
Tarahumara frog Rana tarahumarae 6 – 12
Cascades frog Rana cascadae 8 – 20
Columbia spotted frog Rana luteiventris 5 – 21
Oregon spotted frog Rana pretiosa 18 – 30
European common frog Rana temporaria 14 – 28
Gopher frog Lithobates capito 4 – 5
African clawed frog Xenopus laevis 2 – 7
African dwarf frog Hymenochirus 2 – 7
Tomato frog Dyscophus 1 – 2
Florida bog frog Lithobates okaloosae 3 – 10
Northern sheep frog Hypopachus variolosus 12 – 24 hours
Marsh frog Pelophylax ridibundus  5 – 10

How Long It Takes Tree Frog Eggs to Hatch

Below is a table that shows approximately how long the eggs of 30 tree frog species take to hatch to hatch.

Frog Species
Scientific Name
How Long Their Eggs Take to Hatch (Days)
Gray tree frog Hyla versicolor 3 – 7
Cope’s gray tree frog Hyla chrysoscelis 3 – 7
Spring peeper Pseudacris crucifer 4 – 15
American green tree frog Hyla cinerea 4 – 14
Cuban tree frog Osteopilus septentrionalis 1 – 2
Pacific tree frog Pseudacris regilla 14 – 35
Poison dart frog Dendrobatidae 10 – 18
Glass frog Centrolenidae 9 – 30
Red-eyed tree frog Agalychnis callidryas 4 – 8
Amazon milk frog Trachycephalus resinifictrix 1 – 2
Common Mexican tree frog Smilisca baudinii 1 – 2
Pine woods tree frog Hyla femoralis 1 – 3
Barking tree frog Hyla gratiosa 5 – 10
Squirrel tree frog Hyla squirella 1 – 2
Australian green tree frog Litoria caerulea 1 – 2
European tree frog Hyla arborea 10 – 14
Blanchard’s cricket frog Acris blanchardi 6 – 21
Southern cricket Frog Acris gryllus 4 – 6
Northern cricket frog Acris crepitans 4 – 6
Pine Barrens tree frog Dryophytes andersonii 3 – 4
Sierran tree frog Pseudacris sierra 10 – 14
Boreal chorus frog Pseudacris maculata 10 – 18
Bird-voiced tree frog Hyla avivoca 3 – 4
Mountain chorus frog Pseudacris brachyphona 6 – 10
Little grass frog Pseudacris ocularis 1 – 2
 New Jersey chorus frog Pseudacris kalmi 1 – 2
Mediterranean tree frog Hyla meridionalis 8 – 10
Italian tree frog Hyla intermedia 10 – 14
Iberian tree frog Hyla molleri 8 – 15
Gray foam-nest tree frog Chiromantis xerampelina 4  –  6

How Long It Takes Takes Toad Eggs to Hatch

Below is a table that shows approximately how long the eggs of 26 toad species take to hatch.

Toad Species
Scientific Name
How Long Their Eggs Take to Hatch (Days)
American toad Anaxyrus americanus 3 – 12
Fowler’s toad Anaxyrus fowleri 2 – 7
Western toad Anaxyrus boreas 3 – 12
Cane toad Rhinella marina 2 – 3
Great Plains toad Anaxyrus cognatus 2 – 7
Canadian toad Anaxyrus hemiophrys 2 – 7
European toad Bufo bufo 10 – 30
Arizona toad Anaxyrus microscaphus 3 – 6
Southern toad Anaxyrus terrestris 2 – 4
Colorado River toad Incilius alvarius 2 – 12
African common toad Sclerophrys regularis 2 – 4
Mexican burrowing toad Rhinophrynus dorsalis 3 – 7
Oriental fire-bellied toad Bombina orientalis 3 – 6
Wyoming toad Anaxyrus baxteri 3 – 20
Eastern spadefoot toad Scaphiopus holbrookii 1 – 15
Western spadefoot toad Spea hammondii 1 – 6
North American green toad Anaxyrus debilis 1 – 2
Black toad Anaxyrus exsul 3 – 5
Houston toad Anaxyrus houstonensis 3 – 7
Texas toad Anaxyrus specious 2 – 3
Red-spotted toad Anaxyrus punctatus 2 – 3
Yosemite toad Anaxyrus canorus 10 – 12
Woodhouse’s toad Anaxyrus woodhousii 2 – 4
Oak toad Anaxyrus quercicus 1 – 3
Arroyo toad Anaxyrus californicus 4 – 6
Sonoran green toad Anaxyrus retiformis 2 – 12

Temperature Affects How Long Hatching Takes

Many frogs have extended breeding seasons and their eggs are exposed to a wide range of temperatures depending on the time of year when they are laid.

Eggs laid earlier in early spring, when the weather is colder, usually take longer to hatch – and those laid later when the weather is warmer will typically hatch faster. This is because temperature affects embryonic development rates.

In general, frogs and other amphibian eggs will develop and hatch faster in warmer temperatures and slower in colder temperatures.

To take advantage of this, many frog species have bunch their egg masses together in cold temperatures.

Doing this raises the temperature of the embryos compared to the surrounding water, helping the eggs develop and hatch quicker.

Some frogs aggregate their eggs in cold Temperatures
Some frogs such as the Leopard frog or the European common frog aggregate their egg masses in cold temperatures. Photo credit: Emőke Dénes, (CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikimedia Commons

However, when the weather is warmer, some frogs are more likely to lay their egg masses separately.

Many pond breeding frogs also deliberately seek out open, warm areas of the pond/pool which receive lots of sunlight.

In addition, frog eggs often have higher concentrations of melanin in their dorsal hemisphere, which may serve as both protection from ultraviolet radiation and a means of absorbing and retaining heat.

The Hourglass Tree Frog Lays Its Eggs Differently, Based on Sunlight

Hourglass tree frogs found in Mexico and Central America are unique in that they can lay their eggs both above and in the water.

These frogs typically lay their eggs on plants hanging over ponds. After tadpoles hatch, they simply fall into the water.

However, they can also lay their eggs directly in or on ponds – and research shows it may be linked to temperature and access to sunlight.

Hourglass tree frog Dendropsophus ebraccatus
Hourglass tree frog. Photo by: probreviceps, via iNaturalist.

Scientists from Boston University investigated three ponds in Panama. They found that in shaded ponds with little sunlight, hourglass tree frogs laid their eggs on vegetation above the water – but in unshaded ponds with lots of sunlight, the eggs were laid directly in the water.

Other Factors That Affect Frog Egg Development Rate

Besides temperature, there are other factors that can affect how long it takes frog eggs to hatch.

1. Water Depth

Eggs laid in shallow water typically hatch faster than those laid in deeper water. This is because shallow water tends warmer than deeper water.

Shallow receives more solar radiation and heat from the atmosphere so warms up faster than deeper water.

Shallower, smaller ponds also change temperature more quickly than larger, deeper ponds simply because less water has to be heated or cooled.

Even in deeper water bodies, the top of the water is usually warmer than the bottom layers – and since warm water is less dense than colder water, it stays on top.

For this reason, most frogs that breed in the water usually attach their eggs to vegetation, on or just below the water’s surface.

2. Water pH Level

Frog eggs are sensitive to acidity.

If the water is too acidic or basic, it can kill the embryos by preventing expansion of perivitelline membranes and inhibiting hatching enzymes.

It can also delay hatching and disrupt embryonic development

3. Humidity

Most frogs lay their eggs in the water so humidity will not be an issue. However, some frogs such as glass frogs and red-eyed tree frogs lay their eggs on plants hanging over ponds.

Unlike frog eggs laid in the water, those eggs laid on land are reliant on environmental moisture for development.

If the humidity in the environment is too high or too low, it can affect the development rate of the eggs.

Some Tadpole Species Can Hatch Themselves Early

The embryos of some frog species, such as those of the red-eyed tree frog, can hatch themselves early in response to environmental threats. This is known as “environmentally cued hatching“.

Red-eyed tree frog embryos can hatch up to 30% earlier to escape threats such as predator attacks (for example, snakes and wasps), fungal infection, flooding, overheating, or dehydration.

A red-eyed tree frog and its eggs
A red-eyed tree frog (left), and its eggs (right). Photos by: Sune Holt, via iNaturalist.

For instance, when a snake attacks a red-eyed tree frog egg mass, the embryos can feel the vibrations of the attack, and escape from their eggs within seconds. This is different from regular hatching which normally takes much longer.

Red-eyed tree frog embryos can also hatch early if they sense their protective eggs drying out – and are known to hatch in as little as three days in the eggs fall into the water and lose their air supply. 

The embryos of the European common frog have also been found to hatch earlier, and at a lower stage of development, when in the presence of predatory red-eared slider turtles.

Fun fact: Red-eyed tree frogs are the first species whose embryos are known to hatch to escape overheating.

Most Frog Eggs Never Get to Hatch

Most frogs leave their eggs shortly after laying them. This means the eggs (and tadpoles) are vulnerable to predators, and environmental conditions – leading to very low survival rates.

It is estimated that only one in fifty or 2% of frog eggs laid will survive long enough to make it out of the water as a froglet.

The rest will be eaten by predators such as:

  • Newts (such as eastern newts)
  • Large aquatic insects
  • Snakes
  • Small mammals
  • A wide variety of birds, including domestic birds such as ducks
  • Many predatory fish such as minnows and sticklebacks

Wasps are also known to eat the eggs of some tree frog species

In addition, many frog eggs are killed by exposure the environmental elements – for example, the pond where the eggs are laid dries up, killing the developing embryos.

Frequently Asked Questions:

When Do Frog Eggs Hatch?

Frog eggs hatch anywhere from 12 hours to 6 weeks after they are laid depending on the frog species, water temperature, and other environmental factors. Generally, frog eggs will develop and hatch faster at warmer temperatures, and slower at colder temperatures.


Most frogs reproduce by laying eggs, but all do. The frogs that do lay eggs usually lay them in the water – on or just slightly below the water’s surface.

These eggs will usually hatch within 3 weeks, but those of some frog species can take over a month before they hatch.

If you are interested in testing out your new knowledge of frog eggs, act quickly in the spring.

Some species hatch within only a few days so it’s worth visiting a site frequently to check for a new species that may not have been present when you first checked. Have fun helping! Photo credit: Douglas Mills (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).