Amplexus is a Latin word meaning embrace. The male frog clasps the female in a tight embrace; some literally glue themselves onto their partner. I’m sticking with you babe!
The embrace itself varies: some males grab their partner round the waist; others hold their lady frogs under their armpits; and some – like the passionate poison dart frogs – place the backs of their hands against their lovers throats!
It’s all about hanging on to her until she lays her eggs, which he can then fertilise as soon as they are released. It’s the best place to be if you want to be the daddy!
There’s a wonderful series of illustrations showing all of the weird positions of amplexus in different species of frogs on this website created by the University of Michigan (1).
I am an entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.