How Many Eggs Do Frogs Lay? (90 Species+ Helpful Charts

Most frogs will reproduce by laying eggs. These eggs are typically laid in the water and attached to twigs, grass, or other vegetation just slightly below the surface of the water. But how many eggs do frogs lay?

Depending on the species, a single frog can lay anywhere from 2 to as many as 40,000 eggs at a time. These eggs are usually laid in masses, but some species lay eggs singly or in rows attached to submerged vegetation.

The reason frogs lay so many eggs is – most frogs will abandon their eggs shortly after laying them, and the offspring have very low survival rates.

Most of the eggs will be killed by exposure to the elements, or eaten by predators before they hatch into tadpoles. Of the tadpoles that hatch, only a handful will survive long enough to grow into adult frogs and reproduce.

How Many Eggs 90 Species of Frogs Lay

Frogs are found on every continent, excluding Antarctica. With this wide distribution, 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.

For this reason, the number of eggs a frog lays can vary dramatically between different species.

Some frogs such as poison dart frogs can lay as few as 6 eggs while other frogs such as the American bullfrog can lay over 20, 000 eggs at one time!

Below is a table that shows approximately how many eggs 30 frog species lay at a time.

Frog Species
Scientific Name
How Many Eggs They Lay (Approx.)
Wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus 1,000 – 3,000
Pickerel Frog Lithobates palustris 700 – 3,000
Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens 300 – 6,500
American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus 6,000 – 20,000
Green frog Rana clamitans 1,000 – 7,000
Bronze frog Lithobates clamitans clamitans 2,000 – 4,000
African bullfrog Pyxicephalus adspersus 3,000 – 4,000
Pacman frog Ceratophrys 1,000 – 2000
Mink frog Lithobates septentrionalis 500 – 4,000
River frog Rana heckscheri 6,000 – 8,000
Crawfish frog Lithobates areolatus 3,000 – 7,000
Pig Frog Rana grylio 6,000- 10,000
Coastal tailed frog  Ascaphus truei 44 – 85
Carpenter frog Rana virgatipes 200 – 600
Gopher frog Lithobates capito 1,200 – 7,000
Northern red-legged frog Rana aurora 200 – 1,100
California red-legged frog Rana draytonii 300 – 4,000
Foothill yellow-legged frog Rana boylii 300 – 2,000
Tarahumara frog Rana tarahumarae 500 – 2,000
Cascades frog Rana cascadae 300 – 800
Columbia spotted frog Rana luteiventris 150 – 2,400
Oregon spotted frog Rana pretiosa 250 -1,000
European common frog Rana temporaria 300 – 4,000
Mexican white-lipped frog Leptodactylus fragilis 25 – 250
African clawed frog Xenopus laevis 500 – 2,000
African dwarf frog Hymenochirus 500 – 2,000
Tomato frog Dyscophus 1,000 – 1,500
Florida bog frog Lithobates okaloosae 150 – 350
Northern sheep frog Hypopachus variolosus 500 – 700
Marsh frog Pelophylax ridibundus 670 – 13,000

How Many Eggs Tree Frogs Lay

Below is a table that shows approximately how many eggs 30 tree frog species lay at a time.

Frog Species
Scientific Name
How Many Eggs They Lay (Approx.)
Gray tree frog Hyla versicolor 1000 – 2,000
Cope’s gray tree frog Hyla chrysoscelis 1000 – 2,000
Spring peeper Pseudacris crucifer 750 – 1,200
American green tree frog Hyla cinerea 300 – 1,000
Cuban tree frog Osteopilus septentrionalis 100 – 1,000
Pacific tree frog Pseudacris regilla 400 – 750
Poison dart frog Dendrobatidae 2 – 40
Glass frog Centrolenidae 14 – 30
Red-eyed tree frog Agalychnis callidryas 20 – 60
Amazon milk frog Trachycephalus resinifictrix 300 – 2,500
Common Mexican tree frog Smilisca baudinii 2,500 – 3,500
Pine woods tree frog Hyla femoralis 800 – 2,000
Barking tree frog Hyla gratiosa 1,500 –  4,000
Squirrel tree frog Hyla squirella 900 – 1,200
Australian green tree frog Litoria caerulea 200 – 2,000
European tree frog Hyla arborea 200 – 2000
Blanchard’s cricket frog Acris blanchardi 200 – 400
Southern cricket Frog Acris gryllus 100 – 250
Northern cricket frog Acris crepitans 200 – 400
Pine Barrens tree frog Dryophytes andersonii 400 – 1,000
Canyon tree frog Hyla arenicolor 100 – 400
Boreal chorus frog Pseudacris maculata 150 – 1,500
Bird-voiced tree frog Hyla avivoca 400 – 800
Arizona tree frog Hyla eximia 508 – 1,476
Little grass frog Pseudacris ocularis 100 – 200
Coronated tree frog Anotheca spinosa 50 – 300
New Jersey chorus frog Pseudacris kalmi 500 -1,500
Mediterranean tree frog Hyla meridionalis 800 – 1,000
Italian tree frog Hyla intermedia 400 – 1,000
Iberian tree frog Hyla molleri 400 – 1,500
In Cuban tree frogs, female fecundity increases (capability to produce offspring) as body size increases. A large female can lay more than 15, 000 eggs in one breeding season. However, the eggs are laid 75 – 1000 at a time.

How Many Eggs Toads Lay

Below is a table that shows approximately how many eggs 30 toad species lay at a time.

Toad Species
Scientific Name
How Many Eggs They Lay (Approx.)
American toad Anaxyrus americanus 2,000 – 20,000
Fowler’s toad Anaxyrus fowleri 2,000  – 6,300
Western toad Anaxyrus boreas 3,000 -16,500
Cane toad Rhinella marina 8,000 – 35,000
Great Plains toad Anaxyrus cognatus 1,300 – 20, 000
Canadian toad Anaxyrus hemiophrys 3,000 –  20,000
European toad Bufo bufo 1,500 –  5,000
Natterjack toad Epidalea calamita 3,000 – 7,500
Arizona toad Anaxyrus microscaphus 4,000 – 5,000
Southern toad Anaxyrus terrestris 2,500 – 4,000
Colorado River toad Incilius alvarius 7,500 – 8,000
African common toad Sclerophrys regularis 1,500 – 6,000
Mexican burrowing toad Rhinophrynus dorsalis 2,000 – 8,000
Oriental fire-bellied toad Bombina orientalis 80 – 300
Asian common toad Duttaphrynus melanostictus 6,000 – 40,000
Eastern spadefoot toad Scaphiopus holbrookii 1,000 – 2,500
Western spadefoot toad Spea hammondii 300 – 500
Amargosa toad Anaxyrus nelsoni 3,000 – 6,000
Red-spotted toad Anaxyrus punctatus 1,500 – 5,000
Houston toad Anaxyrus houstonensis 500 – 6,000
Eastern narrow-mouthed toad Gastrophryne carolinensis 500 – 850
Yosemite toad Anaxyrus canorus 1,000 – 2,000
Woodhouse’s toad Anaxyrus woodhousii 12,000 – 28,000
Oak toad Anaxyrus quercicus 300 – 500
Arroyo toad Anaxyrus californicus 2,000 – 10,000
Sonoran green toad Anaxyrus retiformis 50 – 200
Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad Gastrophryne olivacea 650 – 2,100
Coastal plains toad Incilius nebulifer 2,000 – 20,000
Great Basin Spadefoot Spea intermontana 300 – 1,000
New Mexico spadefoot toad Spea multiplicata 600 – 1,070

Why Do Most Frogs Lay So Many Eggs?

As mentioned earlier, frogs lay large numbers of eggs as a natural way to counter the extremely high mortality rates they experience in their early life stages.

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 fish (if present in the pond), newts, large aquatic insects, snakes, and even other frogs.

Sometimes, the pond where the eggs are laid dries up, which kills the developing embryos or the tadpoles soon after they hatch.

Very Few Tadpoles Survive Long Enough to Become Frogs

Of the tadpoles that hatch, there will be intense competition for food and limited resources, meaning again the number of tadpoles will naturally thin out. Many species of tadpoles are even known to eat smaller, vulnerable tadpoles – further reducing the numbers.

When the froglets leave the water, only a few will live to adulthood and reproduce – which can be as low as 1%. The rest will get eaten by predators such as birds, snakes, larger frogs, and small mammals such as foxes.

The large number of eggs laid by each frog is crucial to the survival of its species. If just 5 out of 1000 eggs laid becomes an adult frog and lives long enough to breed, the population of that species should increase.

Some Frogs Only Have to Lay a Few Eggs

Some frogs such as poison dart frogs and glass frogs, only lay a few dozen eggs at a time. The reason for this is, that they breed in more favorable environments – so, their offspring generally have higher survival rates.

Frogs such as poison dart frogs and glass frogs are even known to protect their offspring – which improves the survival rates.

Generally, about 10-20% of all known frog species show some form of parental care. In these species, parental care may include the protection of eggs and/or tadpoles, transporting of tadpoles, feeding of tadpoles, or brooding of eggs.

For example, in many glass frog species, the mothers brood the eggs during the night the eggs are fertilized, and the fathers stay with the eggs to guard them for much longer periods.

Atrato Glass Frog Hyalinobatrachium aureoguttatum with eggs
Male Atrato Glass Frog protecting eggs. Photo by: jorgebrito, via inaturalist.

In many poison dart frog species, the male guards the eggs until they hatch into tadpoles – then he transports each tadpole to its own tiny pool of water held within the cup-like leaves of a bromeliad plant.

Female horned marsupial frogs carry their eggs in a pouch on their back until they hatch as fully developed frogs.

How Frogs Lay Their Eggs

Different frog species have slightly different ways of laying their eggs. Most frogs such as the mink frog will lay eggs in one cluster, but others such as the Australian green tree frog are known to lay multiple clusters.

In many species (such as wood frogs or leopard frogs), many females congregate and lay their eggs communally, so it’s common to find large stretches of frog eggs floating in the same pool.

Southern leopard frog Lithobates sphenocephalus egg masses
Southern leopard fros egg masses. Photo credit: Fredlyfish4 ( CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

In gray tree frogs, the female lays a single egg mass – then almost immediately upon laying, the large egg mass breaks into small, loose egg clusters of 10 to 40 eggs.

Gray tree frog egg mass
Gray tree frog egg mass. Photo credit: cotinis, via Flickr.

Some frogs such as the Green frog or American bullfrog lay their eggs as a film on the water’s surface.

The eggs look like small, floating black spots and may be in small groups or a large raft, depending on how much they have been disturbed.

American bullfrog eggs from a distance
American bullfrog eggs.

Frogs such as the spring peeper deposit their eggs singly on submerged vegetation. Sometimes, many eggs are laid closely together along the same stick creating large concentrations of eggs.

Spring peeper eggs laid on a stick
Spring peepers lay eggs singly. Photo by: Kory Roberts, via Flickr.

Tailed frogs attach their strings of eggs to the underside of large rocks or boulders in streams. They are North American frogs to fertilize eggs internally.

How Often Do Frogs Lay Eggs?

Most frog species lay eggs once or twice per year in the warm spring or summer months, but some frog species in some regions can breed year-round.

The breeding season for frogs is largely stimulated by rainfall, higher temperatures, and the availability of food. Spring or summer rain creates puddles and fills vernal pools, ponds, and other water bodies for frogs to lay their eggs in.

How frequently a frog will lay eggs largely depends on the climate. For example, Cuban tree frogs in most of Florida breed predominately in the spring and summer months – but in the southern part of the state, they can breed year-round due to a favorable climate.

Southern cricket frogs are known to breed 2 to 3 times a year from February through October.

The Frogs That Lay Eggs on Land

Some frogs, such as the Walpole Frog of Australia lay eggs on land. 25- 30 eggs are laid in a small cluster in wet soil, or moss burrows hidden by vegetation near creeks, swamps, and other freshwater bodies.

When the tadpoles hatch, they never swim or come in contact with water. Instead, they develop inside the broken egg jelly mass, feeding entirely on the yolk of their egg – until they develop into small frogs.

Since Wapole frogs develop entirely on land, they generally do not encounter most of the problems and predators faced by frogs that breed in the water – and their young have higher survival rates.

This means they do not need to lay thousands of eggs.

Some Frogs Do Not Lay Eggs

While most frog species lay eggs, there are a few exceptions. For example, Limnonectes larvaepartus, a species of fanged frog found in northern and western Sulawesi, Indonesia – does not lay eggs and instead gives birth to live young.

Females produce approximately 100 eggs. The embryos then develop inside their eggs inside the mother’s body and hatch into well-developed tadpoles just before birth.

Finally, the tadpoles are birthed into slow-moving streams where they will develop into froglets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

How many eggs does one frog lay?

Depending on the species, frogs can lay anywhere from 2 to as many as over 20,000 eggs at a time. For example, one poison dart frog or glass frog will typically lay less than 30 eggs at a time, but a single American bullfrog can lay tens of thousands of eggs, regularly exceeding 20, 000.

Why do frogs lay thousands of eggs?

Frogs lay thousands of eggs for survival reasons. Most frog eggs are eaten by predators before they hatch into tadpoles. Of the tadpoles that hatch, only a few will live long enough to transform into froglets and leave the water.

Once out of the water, only a tiny fraction of the froglets will survive long enough to grow into adult frogs and reproduce. The large number of eggs laid by each frog is vital to the survival of its species

How many times can a frog lay eggs?

Most frogs will only lay eggs once or twice a year, usually in the warm & rainy spring or summer months. However, some frogs living in favorable climates can lay eggs year-round.

What are frog eggs called?

Many frog eggs clumped together are collectively known as “frogspawn”. Frogspawn looks like a clump of clear jelly-like globs, with a developing embryo visible inside each egg. The embryos usually appear as small dots inside each egg.


If you are interested in testing out your new knowledge of frog eggs, act quickly in the spring. The eggs usually only remain for a few weeks and the embryos develop rapidly.

If you ever arrive at a known breeding pond looking for frog egg masses but do not see any; check every day or two and you will most likely find egg masses when you return.

When you do find frog egg masses, it is important that you do not disturb or remove them from the water. Removing the eggs from the water can damage them, and in some cases even kill the small embryos developing inside the eggs.