Oddly enough, did you know that frogs and toads were used in the 1960s for pregnancy tests and are also considered as lucky charms, as symbols of fertility, and bringers of rain?

Frogs: lucky charms, symbols of fertility & rain bringers

Furthermore, these amphibians are responsible for maintaining the biological control of insects and pests. Mosquitoes are carriers of malaria, dengue, zika and chikungunya and frogs love to eat their larva (eggs of mosquitoes) that are often found in ponds, mud, drains and places where water accumulates. So they are excellent allies for our garden because they are indicators of healthy eco-systems!

As tadpoles they are initially aquatic but after growing a tail and legs, as adults they live on land but never far from water as  being amphibians they need it to survive.  They like to sleep during the hottest part of the day and go out at night when there are not so many predators. And it is at night when it is most common to hear their songs of happiness especially in the rainy season!! You can already imagine why!

Stone statue of frog god with baby in Bali, Indonesia (photo © Green Diosa)

Frogs and toads were so important in certain cultures and civilisations that their image was used to represent a deity. When visiting Bali I came across a lot of statues of frogs. I was told the croak of a frog is a symbol of rain falling on the earth and also is a symbol of harmony between the frogs.

When visiting Bali I came across a lot of statues of frogs. I was told the croak of a frog is thought be related to the sound of rain falling on the earth and also is a symbol of togetherness – one frog will make a noise and the others will follow!

In ancient Egypt, the frog appeared as a symbol of fertility and life, water and renewal. The water goddess Heqet often appeared as a woman with the head of a frog and related to the annual flooding of the Nile. In Japan, frogs are the symbols of good luck; in China, they signify prosperity.

Frog sculpture in Bali, Indonesia (photo © Green Diosa)

In rural communities in various states across India, would you believe they have frog weddings!!! Locals perform ceremonies between two frogs hoping they will please Indra, the Hindu god of rain. They even put rings on the frogs’ legs and garlands of flowers around the necks of the poor creatures!! These rituals often occur during times of drought with the communities hoping it will bring rain to these arid and deserted areas.

Frog wedding in India (photo: India Times)

The coqui is a species of tree frog that is regarded as a national ‘mascot’ in Puerto Rico and an important symbol of local culture even being mentioned in poems and songs. But in Hawaii, the Eleutherodactylus coqui is regarded by many as a plague. The coqui was brought to the island in the late 1980s from Puerto Rico, and due to having no predators and lots of insects to eat, it has increased competition for food and is threatening other native creatures such as other frogs, birds and bats as its population has continued to rise. The population density of coqui in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been recorded as reaching as high as 20,000 frogs per acre. Officials and conservation volunteers in the national park are out to catch the coqui to reduce its numbers. And according to the National Geographic “when they find a coqui, they catch it, and drench it in citric acid, killing it.”

Coqui frog that has become an invasive species in Hawaii (photo: Dr Steve A. Johnson)

The hylid frog in southwest Australia is a predator that lives in trees, swamps and ponds where it can adapt with ease to different changes in habitat. They are carnivorous and capable of devouring anything that enters their mouths, destroying the local food chain by competing with native species. Like with the coqui in Hawaii, it’s humans who are to blame for introducing these predatory species into different habitats and upsetting the balance.

But the truth is frogs do not get the credit they deserve because they are extraordinary creatures who help understand the biological transition between water and land. In recent times, these amazing animals are increasingly threatened by UVB radiation, climate change and other factors.

So, if these cute animals that are so necessary for the balance of the eco-system have inhabited the planet for more than 300 million years and were so important to other civilisations why do humans want to wipe them out? Why not take care of them?



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