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Why Do Frogs Croak at Night? Reasons, Science & FAQ

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

waxy monkey tree frog

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There’s nothing like the sleep you get after a bit of rain on a peaceful night. Just when you close your eyes, ready to drift off into bliss, the orchestra down by the creek or pond behind your house suddenly erupts. Gone are any chances of regaining that peaceful setting that seemed just right. While you lay in your bed, wincing with each sound, you’re left asking yourself, why do frogs croak at night? Why are you left dealing with these amazing creatures, as soon as you’re ready to chill and get a bit of sleep for the night? That answer is simple. Nighttime is when the male frogs in your area are feeling a bit romantic. Those annoying croaks you hear are their way of attracting the ladies and trying to compete with other males who are in the area.

We can’t make you feel better about the sounds you hear at night, or fix your issues with lack of sleep, but we can help you better understand what’s happening. Let’s take a look at why frogs croak at night and why nighttime is the right time for these amphibians. Perhaps this will make you feel better about the situation. If not, you can at least be prepared with earplugs during warm weather before you hit the sack.

frog divider hepper

Why Do Frogs Croak at Night?

During spring, which is easily the wettest season of the year, a frog’s breeding instinct is going to kick in. They enjoy moisture in the air for breeding and temperatures that are comfortable. So, obviously, when the mood is set so perfectly, and the night moves in, male frogs need to get the attention of the lady frogs. These croaks that keep you up at night must be loud and attractive or the female frogs will simply ignore the males. She will move on until she finds a male frog whose croak is loud and appealing enough for her to want him as her mate.

You may also hear a lot of this croaking, each sounding a bit different, according to the number of male frogs in the area. Every male will be trying to attract a mate. This means they will also croak to show their dominance around the other males to seem more enticing. Often these intimidating croaks are lower-toned, sounding more like a groan.

Group of frogs rest in a pool
Image Credit to janusz.kolondra okonato, Shutterstock

Why Is Night the Best Time for Mating Frogs?

Now, it’s understandable for you to be curious as to why frogs can’t croak and carry on in the daylight hours. It would be perfect for our sleep if they could. Unfortunately, they simply can’t. Let’s look at why frogs need the mood to be set perfectly for matchmaking to happen.

Perfect Temperatures

As most of us already know, frogs are cold-blooded creatures. The technical term is ectothermic, meaning they are unable to regulate their own body temperature. If it’s cold outside, they’ll be cold. If it’s hot, so are they. When the sun goes down, no matter the season, things cool down. Nighttime temperatures are ideal for frogs. It allows them to move around more and do as they wish without fear of becoming too hot. Mating is one of those activities.

Tree Frog close up
Image Credit to saguari, Pixabay

More Humidity in the Air

Not only do frogs like things cooler, but they also like it humid. This is why they prefer hanging out around ponds, creeks, swamps, and other shaded, wet areas. When temps drop, humidity rises. This rise in humidity makes things more comfortable for frogs which helps set the perfect mood for mating.

Fewer Predators

Frogs, like most creatures on our planet, have several predators that are simply waiting to attack. Birds are one of the most deadly for these little amphibians. Luckily for frogs, however, a lot of their predatory animals aren’t active at night. This makes nighttime the safest time for them to move around, croak, and try to mate.

tree frogs mating
Image Credit to timsimages.uk, Shutterstock

Why Do Frogs Stop Croaking?

Of course, it can be concerning when the frogs in your area suddenly fall silent. However, there are a couple of reasons this could happen. Frogs hibernate throughout the year when the temperatures and humidity are ideal for them. If you’re in an area that is known for harsh, dry summers, you won’t hear them during this time. You’ll also not hear frogs during the winter or fall. Spring is the perfect time for them. You will, however, encounter them now and then during the summer when a steady rain cools the night air down.

When you hear frogs outside and they suddenly stop croaking, it’s unsettling. Your instant thought is that something is outside. Most likely, you’re right. Or, the frogs have found a mate for the night. When a frog hears something coming and its survival instincts kick in, the croaking will cease. This is understandable. It’s also understandable that once a mate is found, there’s more than croaking going on if you catch our drift.

frog divider hepper

Final Thoughts

Yes, croaking frogs can be annoying, but they don’t deserve all the hate they get. Like humans and other animals in the world, frogs want to find love. Considering the fact they can only do this for a short time each year, cut them some slack. Sure, you may lose a bit of sleep, but just imagine all the baby frogs that will be inhabiting your woods in the months to come.


Featured Image Credit to Audrey Snider-Bell, Shutterstock

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