The Common Coqui (Eleutherodactylus coqui) is not the only member of the genus to inhabit the forests, fields, and roadsides of Puerto Rico. I believe there are sixteen species altogether. While I made no effort to search them all out, I did stumble upon several having interesting calls.
My favorite (other than E. coqui) is a frog I have named “Beautiful Tinkler.” I never actually saw one, so it is possible this is an insect and not a frog at all. The tinkler inhabits moist grassy areas next to rainforest. It’s jumbled tinkling calls are a delight to behold. And in almost every occasion that I have found them, there was the very high-pitched shuffling of long-horned katydids.
Below is my best example of Beautiful Tinklers, heard along with Common Coquis, katydids, crickets of some sort, and possibly yet another frog that gives a high-pitched dry trill sounding like tk-tk-tk-tk-tik:
Beautiful Tinklers and other frogs and insects recorded in El Yunque National Forest. March 2013. Copyright Lang Elliott.
Another standout frog I have named the “Pip Frog,” a species whose call is a rapidly-repeated liquid pip or peet. I found this species calling in groups in wet, grassy seeps along highways and sometimes in low, wet areas in rainforest. An additional species of frog was often found in the same habitat, its metallic call sound like p’teek! As you might have already guessed, I’ve christened it the “P’Teek Frog”. In the following recording, listen for all three species calling, along with several kinds of insects:
Pips, T’Deeks, and Common Coquis recorded in El Yunque National Forest. March 2013. Copyright Lang Elliott.
Well folks, this is the last of my “on location” Puerto Rico blog posts. We leave today at noon and I will be back in Ithaca by evening. I hear it has snowed a good six inches, so I am likely to return to a whitened landscape. Quite a contrast … hot tropical rainforest at noon and then snow covered hills by evening. What a wonderful trip this has been, a magical week in spent in caribbean tropical rainforest.
I am now intimately familiar with what it’s like to bask in a chorus of coquis, and my memories of their calls are unlikely to fade anytime soon. I fully expect to hear them in my dreams for months to come, even as I embrace the unfolding of spring and summer in the wonderland I call home.
Let the following recording officially mark the end of my journey… a small stream in the rainforest recorded at first light this morning. Enjoy the gurgling of the water, the calls of coquis, the high-pitched shuffles of a katydid (for those with excellent hearing), and the splats of dewdrops hitting palm leaves overhead:
Stream at dawn with Coqui frogs, recorded along highway in central Puerto Rico, March 2013. Copyright Lang Elliott.
Let me know what you think!