The red eyed tree frog has a striking bright green back. Their sides and upper legs are patterned with blue and yellow stripes. The colour of these frogs may vary slightly as their mood changes. Their toes and the underside of the leg is orange. These toes have large suction cups which they use to hold on while climbing.
As their name suggests they have a large red eye with a black, vertical pupil. Their eye has three eyelids which are used to protect the eye and keep it moist while still allowing them to see.
Males are smaller than females. They measure 4-7cm (1.5-2.75in) long and weigh 6-15g (0.2-0.5oz).
The red eyed tree frog is primarily insectivorous. They feed on insects such as crickets and worms. On occasion they have been known to eat smaller frogs.
Central America is the native home of the red eyed tree frog. Here they can be found throughout Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.
Red eyed tree frogs live in neotropical rainforests, lowland and montane forests. They are able to survive in secondary forests and areas where there has been some logging.They require a tree which is near a pond which they can call their home.
Breeding takes place during summer, which is the rainy season, for the red eyed tree frog. The male will find a well placed perch from which they can call to the females to try and attract them. As they make their croaking call they also shake their body and this is so strong they can move the leaves on the branch.
Once they have attracted a female she will deposit an egg mass on the underside of leaves over a patch of water. Following this egg laying the male will fertilize them. Each clutch consists of around 40 eggs which are coloured green.
Eggs quickly develop into tadpoles over 6 to 7 days and once they are all ready the eggs erupt and this washes them down the leaf and in to the water below. On occasion they miss the water and are on land for a period of time. They can survive out of water for up to 20 hours.
Tadpoles are preyed by upon by shrimp and a fish. A fungus may also infect their eggs. These eggs can also eaten by monkeys, snakes and insects. Almost half of their eggs will be eaten by predators.
They spend a month as tadpoles at which point they metamorphose in to a frog.
Red eyed tree frogs are nocturnal when they will emerge to hunt. Their vertical eye slit will help focus on insects as they move through the forest.
They are capable swimmers and visit these areas regularly as they can absorb water through the skin on their belly.
These frogs are arboreal and spend most of their time climbing which is aided by the suction cup like toe pad.
A group of red eyed tree frogs is known as an army.
Predators and Threats
Red eyed tree frogs are preyed upon by snakes, birds and bats.To avoid predation the red eyed tree frog will flash their bright eyes in an attempt to dazzle predators and then as they move away they flash their bright colours. These bright colours can overwhelm the eyes of nocturnal predators making the frog hard to track as they hop away.
Humans affect their population through habitat destruction, the introduction of competitor species and collection for the pet trade.
Red eyed tree frogs are one of the most popular pet frog species and are regularly traded.
Used Under License
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