Breeding occurs mainly December-February, after rains fill pools and ponds. Fertilization internal. Eggs are laid singly or in small clusters, hatch in 2-4 weeks. Larvae transform in about 4 months (Behler and King 1979), as water recedes in late spring or summer, but larvae may overwinter in permanent ponds (Alvarez 2004). May not breed in drought years when ponds fail to fill. Production of metamorphs tends to be "boom or bust" at a given site (Loredo and Van Vuren 1996).
In a pond in Monterey County, most individuals matured sexually at 4-5 years, but less than 50 percent returned to breed a second time; numbers of breeding adults varied by more than a factor of four over several years, and annual juvenile production ranged from 121-775 metamorphs. This level of reproduction indicated that the population was a reproductive sink during the period of the study (Trenham et al. 2000).