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| BAD GUY
The coqui frog, which has the almost unpronounceable scientific name
of Eleutherodactylus coqui, was introduced into Hawaii in
the early 1990s and has wreaked havoc on residential neighborhoods and
hotels ever since with its ear-piercing call at night. Truly amazing for
a pint-sized little frog that is only about the size of a quarter!
The coqui frog originally made headlines in a few years ago when it was
disturbing the peace and quiet of visitors evenings in the resort
area of West Maui. It has since spread further afield and recently has
been found on Oahu. They seem to get transported here and there
accidentally through the nursery trade (hiding in bromeliads or flower
pots -- after all, they are VERY tiny!). Fortunately, nurserymen are aware
of the problem and are helping state and federal biologists to find ways
to keep these little frogs from getting to be a bigger problem than they
Coqui frogs are originally from Puerto Rico, where they are confined to
the rainforests and away from urban areas. However, they seem to be quite
happy to pop up anywhere they can here in Hawaii, often to the dismay
of residents and visitors alike.
Their high decibel call of ko - kee! (louder than a vacuum
cleaner, but slightly less than being next to the speaker at a rock concert)
can easily irritate people, especially those trying to get some sleep!
But even worse is the fact their populations are increasing extremely
fast. Up to 8,000 of them can be found in one acre! Thats quite
an unquieting chorus! The fact that they eat insects and can easily decimate
some of our rare and endangered ones further compounds the problem of
their being here where they do not belong.
| Photo by Allen Allison