|Coquí (Puerto Rican Frog)|
|Common Coquí, Eleutherodactylus coqui|
Duméril and Bibron, 1841
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Coquí is the common name for several species of small frogs in the Eleutherodactylus genus that are endemic to Puerto Rico. They are onomatopoeically named for the very loud mating call which the males of two species, the common coquí and the mountain coquí, make at night. The coquí is one of the most common frogs in Puerto Rico with more than 16 different species found within its territory, including 13 in the Caribbean National Forest. Other species of this genus can be found in the rest of the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Neotropics, in Central and South America.
Coquís belong to the Eleutherodactylus genus which in Greek means free toes. Eleutherodactylus contains over 700 different species that naturally occur in the southern United States, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Coquís additionally have become established in Hawaii, where they are considered an invasive species.
Role in the ecosystem
The coquí has essentially become the species which controls the population of herbivorous insects.
The decline of coquí populations has accelerated since the introduction of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus. This fungus has been extremely effective against many amphibians because it can cause skin infection. The coquís found in El Yunque are resistant to the B. dendrobatidis fungus at the expense of their size, which reduces the aptitude to survive in the wilderness (Burrowes, Longo and Rodriguez 2007). Individuals that carry this fungus resistance are more often found where the B. dendrobatidis fungus is concentrated. Although the fungus prefers humid environments, infection is more frequent in drier climates because coquís tend to cluster in humid sub-areas within this drier climate (Burrowes, Longo and Rodriguez 2007).
The current record from the USGS establishes that it has been identified in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic, and Florida.
At one point Louisiana was identified as another location but according to the USGS the Louisiana record was erroneous and was based on two pet coquís, both males, kept in a greenhouse for 2–3 years until killed off by a winter freeze.
Coquís have become established in the Big Island of Hawai'i, where they are considered an invasive species. Coquí population density in Hawaii can reach 20,000 animals per acre and affects 50,000 acres (20,000 ha). Eradication campaigns are underway on Hawaiʻi and Maui. Some groups favor its adoption.
In popular culture
- Common Coquí
- Fauna of Puerto Rico
- List of amphibians and reptiles of Puerto Rico
- Coqui Francolin, also onomatopoeically named
- Rios-López, N. and R. Thomas. 2007. A new species of palustrine Eleutherodactylus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from Puerto Rico. Zootaxa 1512: 51–64
- Burrowes, Patricia A. and Ana V. Longo. Persistence with Chytridiomycosis Does Not Assure Survival of Direct-developing Frogs. EcoHealth June 2010: p.185-195. ProQuest. Web. 5 June 2011.
- "Coqui (Eleutherodactylus coqui) - FactSheet". Nas.er.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- Shafer, Jacob (November 18, 2010). "On the Front Lines of the Coqui Battle With Maui Invasive Species Committee". Retrieved November 2010.
- "Control of Coqui Frog in Hawai'i". Ctahr.hawaii.edu. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- Philip A. Thomas (2009-01-27). "Coqui & greenhouse frogs: alien Caribbean frogs in Hawaii". Hear.org. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- "Hawaiian Coqui, Facts about the coqui in Hawai'i". Hawaiiancoqui.org. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- Real (CD liner). Ivy Queen. Perfect Image Records Inc. Manufactured and distributed by Universal Music Latino, 420 Lincoln Rd. Suite 200, Miami Beach, FL 33139, through Universal Music & Video Distribution. 2004. 809507157-2.