Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Red-eyed Tree Frog, Agalychnis callidryas,

The red-eyed tree frog is one of the world’s most colorful amphibians. It has a bright green upper body, distinctive blue and yellow markings on its sides, orange feet, and red eyes. The red-eyed tree frog uses its colorful skin as camouflage and its striking eyes to scare predators.

The red-eyed tree frog lives in the tropical forests of eastern Central America. It spends most of its time high in the warm, wet trees. The red-eyed tree frog can sit on a leaf or branch and make itself small by tucking its legs against its body so that only its green back is visible. It has transparent lower eyelids marked with gold lines that allow it to see but conceals its red irises.

The red-eyes tree frog is about 2 to 3 inches (4-7 cm) long and weighs just 6 to 10 grams. It has very long hind legs that make it an excellent jumper and climber and well-adapted to life in the forest canopy. It has suction-cup-like pads at the tips of its fingers and toes that help it grip. It has semi-webbed feet in case it needs to swim. The red-eyed tree frog is a good swimmer, but it prefers to sit on the wet leaves of trees.

Red-eyed tree frog at night in the tropical rainforest
Red-eyed tree frog at night in the tropical rainforest

The red-eyed tree frog is nocturnal. Its bright blue and yellow flanks are visible only when it is on the move so it usually sits camouflaged and motionless during the day. It can cling to the underside of a leaf to stay hidden from hungry birds. If threatened, the red-eyed tree frog will open its red eyes wide to startle and scare its enemy. This gives the red-eyed tree frog time to escape.

The red-eyed tree frog is active and hunts for food at night. It eats crickets, flies, grasshoppers, and moths. Sometimes, the red-eyed tree frog will eat smaller frogs.

Red-eyed tree frogs mate during the rainy season. A male will croak loudly and shake leaves to claim a breeding territory and attract females. The female red-eyed tree frog lays her eggs on a leaf hanging over a pond or stream. When the tadpoles emerge they fall into the water below. The tadpoles stay in the water until they turn into miniature frogs. Red-eyed tree frogs live about five years.

The scientific name of the red-eyed tree frog is Agalychnis callidryas.

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