Pacific Science Association
The greenhouse frog, Eleutherodactylus planirostris, is a direct-developing (i.e., no aquatic stage) frog native to Cuba and the Bahamas. It was introduced to Hawaii via nursery plants in the early 1990s and then subsequently from Hawaii to Guam in 2003. The greenhouse frog is now widespread on five Hawaiian Islands and Guam. Infestations are often overlooked due to the frog’s quiet calls, small size, and cryptic behavior, and this likely contributes to its spread. Because the greenhouse frog is an insectivore, introductions may reduce invertebrates. In Hawaii, the greenhouse frog primarily consumes ants, mites, and springtails, and obtains densities of up to 12,500 frogs ha-1. At this density, it is estimated that they can consume up to 129,000 invertebrates ha-1 night-1. They are a food source for the non-native brown tree snake in Guam and may be a food source for other non-native species. They may also compete with other insectivores for available prey. The greatest direct economic impacts of the invasions are to the nursery trade that must treat infested shipments. Although various control methods have been developed to control frogs in Hawaii, and citric acid, in particular, is effective in reducing greenhouse frogs, the frog’s inconspicuous nature often prevents populations from being identified and managed.
Beard, Karen H.; Olson, Christina A.; and Pitt, William C., "Biology and Impacts of Pacific Island Invasive Species: 8. Eleutherodactylus planirostris, the Greenhouse Frog (Anura: Eleutherodactylidae)" (2011). Wildland Resources Faculty Publications. Paper 1024.