Frogs in love: Romeo and Juliet

Romeo the frog spent ten years alone in a museum in Bolivia. He is a Sehuencas frog, and for a long time, scientists at the museum thought that Romeo was the only Sehuencas frog in the world. A lot of these frogs have died because of deforestation,and a deadly disease has taken the lives of many others. The scientists wanted to find a mate for Romeo. They even set up a profile for him on! In 2018, some scientists went to the Bolivian forests to look for a partner for Romeo. They looked in many streams, but they couldn’t find any frogs. They grew tired, wet and disappointed. They decided to check one more stream before going home. And then, they found a Sehuencas frog beside a waterfall. This frog was male, but they returned the next day and found four more frogs, two male and two female. One of the females was the right age to mate. The conservationists called her Juliet. The scientists didn’t let Romeo and Juliet meet at first. They needed to check that Juliet didn’t have a disease. But finally, they put the two frogs together. At first, Romeo seemed nervous, but soon he swam to Juliet and then he did a funny dance, shaking his toes. Then he put his arms and legs around her and made a really loud call. Juliet hasn’t laid any eggs yet, but scientists hope she will. That way, they can learn more about these frogs and help to protect them in the forest. But they know it won’t be easy. For frogs to mate, the temperature and the water quality must be perfect. They also only mate when it is raining, so the scientists had to put special rain equipment in their tank. However, the scientists aren’t too worried if Romeo and Juliet don’t mate, because they have the four other frogs. And they are happy that Romeo isn’t lonely any more!

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