Protecting the young
Many frogs invest considerable parental effort. The toad Pipa carvoelhi have a normal anuran copulation in water, however, only a few eggs are fertilized and the male frog using his webbed hind feet gathers the eggs and spreads them onto the female's back. This process is repeated until about a hundred eggs are gathered. The skin below begins to swell and embed the eggs and a membrane develops over the top of the eggs and covers them. After 14 days the female's back is rippling with the movements of hatched tadpoles. After 24 days the young break holes and are released from their mother. The frog species Gastrotheca have brood patched on their backs where fertilized eggs develop into tadpoles. When the tadpoles are ready to be released the female finds a shallow pond to sit in and deposit her young. In Gastrotheca ovifera more yolk is provided with the eggs, and the tadpoles remain until they are froglets before leaving the pouch. Egg brooding is usually done by the female frogs, although in the Australian hip-pocket frogAssa darlingtoni it is the male who broods them.
Egg-carrying anuran species: 1. Alytes obstetricans; 2. Hemiphractus johnsoni; 3. Pipa carvalhoi; 4. Colostethus subpunctatus; 5. Gastrotheca cornuta.