The aim of this study was to use the Comet assay to assess genetic damage in the direct-developing frog Eleutherodactylus johnstonei. A DNA diffusion assay was used to evaluate the effectiveness of alkaline, enzymatic and alkaline/enzymatic treatments for lysing E. johnstonei blood cells and to determine the amount of DNA strand breakage associated with apoptosis and necrosis. Cell sensitivity to the mutagens bleomycin (BLM) and 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4NQO) was also assessed using the Comet assay, as was the assay reproducibility. Alkaline treatment did not lyse the cytoplasmic and nuclear membranes of E. johnstonei blood cells, whereas enzymatic digestion with proteinase K (40 !g/mL) yielded naked nuclei. The contribution of apoptosis and necrosis (assessed by the DNA diffusion assay) to DNA damage was estimated to range from 0% to 8%. BLM and 4NQO induced DNA damage in E. johnstonei blood cells at different concentrations and exposure times. Dose-effect curves with both mutagens were highly reproducible and showed consistently low coefficients of variation (CV < 10%). The results are discussed with regard to the potential use of the modified Comet assay for assessing the exposure of E. johnstonei to herbicides in ecotoxicological studies.