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What do Frogs do at Night?

Those noises you hear in the pond behind your home at night in early spring probably are not crickets or ducks – they are more than likely frogs.

Frogs thrive at night.

This is one reason why frogs are quite active (and loud) once the sun sets.

Frogs are nocturnal and spend the night eating, calling, or reproducing during mating season. Frogs are generally active at night since their senses are well-suited to darkness. Being active at night allows frogs to avoid predators and easily find food.

The evening and night are great times for frogs to blend into the environment, attract mates, avoid predators, find food, and eat in peace.

Let’s have a closer look at why and how frogs are active at night.

Male Frogs Call Female Frogs At Night

The most common thing you may be dealing with right now is loud frogs at night.

It’s definitely not your imagination if you think that frogs are much noisier when the sun goes down.

Male frogs try to attract female frogs of the same species at night during mating season and may call from sunset to a few hours before sunrise on warm evenings during Spring, the Monsoon, or Wet seasons.

Do You Hear Crickets in Spring? May not be crickets...

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Watch the video above where we go searching for some of the loudest frogs in Spring at night.

If you have a fish-free pond surrounded by a wooded area near by and live in North America, you may hear Spring Peeper calling in the evening.

As a general rule, male frogs make noise at night from March to June in Canada and the Northern US, and from November to March in the Southern States.

Frogs start to make noise in the evening during the mating season into the early morning around 2 or 3 am.

So they do make noise most of the night, but should not make noise all night long (CTNF).

Frogs Are Active At Night to Avoid Predators

Many frog species are active at night to avoid predators.

Darkness creates a certain form of protection for frogs.

While their main predators are sleeping, frogs can actively call, mate, lay eggs, and hunt.

Unexpected Frog Predators

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But if frogs can see and hunt at night, what about their predators that are active night hunters, like skunks, foxes and raccoons?

The reason that skunks, foxes and racoons will most likely not see the frogs is that many frogs have skin patterns that help them blend into their environment.

Young American Toad-min
A baby toad I found at night playing dead, blending into its environment

Although another animal or other reptile may have night vision, they have a lower chance of seeing color at night compared to what most frogs can see.

This makes it easier for frogs to camouflage themselves into the surrounding environment.

Frogs have other awesome defence mechanisms that they use to try to avoid predators and the cover of darkness at night is an extra helpful means to make their methods more effective.

Frogs Hunt & Eat At Night

Frogs also hunt and eat at night.

Frogs typically hunt two different ways depending on the species: passively or actively.

Frogs can be ambush predators and employ a passive “sit-and-wait” technique where they wait for food to come to them.

Other frogs actively hunt, chase, and eat their prey.

Either way, frogs may use one or both of these hunting techniques and most smaller species prefer to eat at night when there are less predators around and an abundance of food.

What Do Frogs Eat? [You Will Never Guess!] 🐍

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Smaller frog species such as Poison Dart Frogs, Spring Peeper, and Wood Frogs tend to eat smaller prey like ants, spiders, worms, and slugs.

Whereas American Bullfrogs are large and commonly eat bigger prey such as mice, birds, bats, and lizards. 

You may find a lot of toads in your yard at night because they are attracted to the bugs that are attracted to lights around homes.

Toads may sit near bugs flying by light sources and passively catch them with their long sticky tongue.

Frogs May Rest at Night

Most frog species rest during the day, but some may also rest at night.

Keep in mind that with over 7,500 known frog species spread all over the globe, many frogs have different techniques and habits depending on their environment.

Frog taking a rest at night

Unfortunately, frog sleep is not a highly studied topic.

Therefore, how frogs sleep and where they sleep are still a bit debated among the scientific community.

But we do know that frogs generally sleep based on intermediate period of Non-REM, Primary and Cataplectic Sleep.

Frogs do not sleep like humans other mammals, yet few scientific studies have been carried out on the topic of frog sleep, and many existing studies are based on a mammal-centric definition of sleep.

Frogs Breathe & Drink Through Their Skin at Night

Frogs breathe and drink through their skin, but they can only do so if their skin is moist and healthy.

This is why hydration is an important factor in a frogs nighttime activities.

At night, the humidity in the air is higher than during the day thanks to the absence of the sun.

Frogs also spend the day time remaining hydrated, but they can finally come out and be active thanks to the humidity in the environment at night.

When the sun is out in the day, it creates heat and light rays that can cause a frog’s sensitive body to dry up.

Where Frogs Live: The Ideal Frog Habitat

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You’ve probably noticed that dew forms on grass overnight.

This is because the water has time to cool and condense rather than evaporate.

This, along with rainy days, is the best time for frogs to explore their surroundings because they don’t need to worry as much about dehydration.

Frogs Can See In Color At Night

Frogs with horizontal pupils are generally more active during the day, whereas frogs with vertical pupils are generally more active at night.

Night vision is the ability to see in a very low light setting.

Many animals have low-light night vision, but frogs and toads are some of the few species that can see in color in the dark.

Many animals can only see in black and white, while humans are hardly able to see anything in low-light.

However, frogs have 360° vision and can decipher blue and green at night.

Frogs have 360° vision

During the day, frogs tend to hide among vegetation, under dead leaves, in water, or underground.

Being able to see in color at night helps frogs be more able to understand their surroundings and effectively seek out prey and protection at night.

Since frogs do not need a lot of light to navigate their surroundings, they have a distinct advantage over most animals.

However, not all frog species are nocturnal.

What frogs do at night is species-dependant.

But what we covered in this article are the most common things you can find frogs doing after the sun sets.

More About Nocturnal Frogs

Why do Frogs Make Noise at Night? Male frogs make noise at night to attract female frogs to mate with. This is especially true in the Spring time in North America, after rainfall, or during the frogs mating season.

How Long do Frogs Make Noise? Male Frogs make noise from sundown to about 2 to 3 am during mating season, generally from March to June in the North, or November to March in the South to attract female frogs of the same species.

Why Are Frogs so Loud? Frogs are very loud to attract female frogs of the same species that can be far away, and to show that they are sexually fit. Depending on the species, male frogs can be heard up to 1km away.

Do Frogs Make Noise all Summer? As a general rule, frogs do not make noise all Summer and may migrate after mating season. Male frogs will generally peep from March to June in Canada and the Northern US, and from November to March in the Southern States.

Do Frogs Make Noise all Night? As a general rule, frogs start to croak in the evening right after sunset during the mating season into the early morning around 2 or 3 am. So they do make noise most of the night but should not be loud during the whole night.

How do Frogs Sleep? Generally, frogs sleep during the day in humid, damp, safe places and rest by closing their third eyelid, also known as their nictitating membrane. Frogs tend to sleep during the day and be active at night when their predators sleep and their prey is active.

Daniella Master Herpetologist

Daniella is a Master Herpetologist and the founder of toadsnfrogs.com, a website dedicated to educating the general population on frogs by meeting them where they are in their online Google Search. Daniella is passionate about frogs and put her digital marketing skills and teaching experience to good use by creating these helpful resources to encourage better education, understanding, and care for frogs.