A coqui is a small frog native to Puerto Rico. When translated, coqui means little frog in Spanish. In Puerto Rico, the coqui is like a national symbol. The Puerto Ricans love their little friends, and when they are away from the island they miss the little frogs. The coqui image is seen everywhere in Puerto Rico. Pretty much any souvenir from Puerto Rico will have the little mascot on it.
There are actually sixteen different species of the coqui that live in Puerto Rico. Thirteen different species of coqui can be found in the Caribbean National Forrest, El Yunque, which is Puerto Rico’s rainforest. Eleven of the species can only be found in Puerto Rico. Coquis are also native to other parts of the Caribbean as well as Central America and South America.
Coquis are famous for their singing. Their singing is a beautiful sound that can not be forgotten. Once the sun goes down the coquis begin to serenade the island. They sing all night long until the sun begins to rise. The noise the coquis make when they sing sounds like “ko kee”, which is how the coqui came to be called the coqui. The coquis can be heard all over the island; in the rainforest, in big cities, and in rural areas. Coquis are most likely to come out and sing when it is darker. So, they are more prevalent in darker areas. The female coquis are larger than the males, however only the male coquis sing. So, that means that the loud singing heard on the island is created by about half of the coquis there.
Many people find it amazing that such a powerful noise comes from such a small thing. Coquis are usually between 15m and 80mm. That’s pretty small! The “ko-kee” noise that is made can reach 1,160 hertz in the first syllable and 2,090 hertz in the second syllable, which is pretty loud, especially for such a small animal. Coquis come in a variety of colors, including brown, green, and yellow, or a combination of these colors. Some coquis even have stripes. They are born with a very tiny tail, however it soon disappears. Coquis have tiny pads on their feet that allow them to hang on to any surface. One thing that sets coquis apart from other frogs is that they are never tadpoles. The female coquis lay eggs in a nest on land, which is where the young are hatched.
The coqui can be difficult to find while on the island. However, it is impossible to miss their sound. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Puerto Rico you will have the pleasure of being serenaded by the coquis. It is a sound that you will never forget. Enjoy!