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BLOG: Coqui Frogs (Yikes!) Captured on Oahu

April 3, 2014, 5:02 PM HST
* Updated April 4, 1:58 AM
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Under News Most Likely to be Met With a Yawn by Hawaii County Residents: Three coqui frogs have been captured on Oahu.

Unlike the Big Island, where all but those living in the driest areas have been putting up with the coqui cacophony for well over a decade, on Oahu nights are apparently still quiet enough to make out a single frog’s call.

Actually, as many folks here could tell you, coqui have in recent years been emitting variations of the traditional, distinct two-tone mating call.

Perhaps driven by a need to be distinctive because of competition for the fairer frogs, some of the males now produce a variety of trills, whistles and chirps into the night.

They also seem to be getting bigger, but that may be explained by a lack here of the predators found in their native Puerto Rico which allows the Hawaii versions to easily reach the ripe old amphibian age of six.

Along those lines, maybe because they sense they are no longer at such risk, the frogs can sometimes also be heard during the day, especially on cloudy ones.

But getting back to Oahu, crews from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture last night found two coqui at plant nurseries in Kaimuki and Kunia, while the third was on a boat at a home in Kahaluu.

Agriculture officials suspect the former hitchhiked to Oahu on plant material that originated on the Big Island, while the latter may have come with the boat shipped from our isle.

Their presence was reported earlier this week by neighbors of those properties.

Scott Enright, director of the agriculture department (and a Big Island resident), said DOA staff on Oahu have been diligent in following up on coqui reports.

“As with any potential invasive species, we encourage residents to be our eyes and ears and report possible infestations,” Enright said in a press release.

We’re guessing the release was written by someone other than Enright, because as he and most anyone else from the Big Island know, hearing the frogs is the easy part.

Spotting the elusive buggahs amidst dense foliage is another matter entirely.

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