Red-eyed Treefrog

The Red-eyed Treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) is an arboreal hylid native to Neotropical rainforests in Central America.

Red-eyed tree frogs, as their name states, have red eyes with vertically narrowed noses, a vibrant green body with yellow and blue striped sides, and orange toes. There is a great deal of regional variation in flank and thigh colouration. Although it has been suggested that A. callidryas’ bright colors function as aposematic or sexual signals, neither of these hypotheses have been confirmed. Males range from 2 (5.08 centimetres) to 2½ inches (6.35 centimetres), while female range from 2½ (6.35 centimetres) to 3 inches (7.62 centimetres) on average. Young frogs are typically brown in color and turn greener as they mature, although adult frogs can change their color slightly depending on mood and environment. Red-eyed tree frogs have soft, fragile skin on their stomach, and the skin on their back is thicker and rougher.

The red-eyed tree frog has three eyelids and sticky pads on its toes. Phyllomedusid tree frogs are arboreal animals, meaning they spend a majority of their life in trees, which also makes them great jumpers.

Red-eyed tree frogs are not poisonous and rely on camouflage to protect themselves. During the day, they remain motionless, cover their blue sides with their back legs, tuck their bright feet under their stomach, and shut their red eyes. Thus, they appear almost completely green, and well hidden among the foliage.

Diet

Red-eyed tree frogs are carnivorous and eat crickets, moths, flies, and other insects, and have been known to eat other small frogs. For froglets, fruit flies and pinhead crickets are the meals of choice.

Reproduction

Some new research has found that during mating season, the male frogs shake the branches they’re sitting on to improve their chances of finding a mate by keeping rivals at bay. This is the first evidence that tree-dwelling vertebrates use vibration and the mechanics of there mouths to communicate. Some frogs communicate by croaking deep sounds for warnings and high sounds for mating. In the mating season, when rainfall is at its highest, males of the red-eyed tree frog call “chack” to get the attention of the female, who then carries him on her back around for up to several hours during the oviposition process.

The female chooses a leaf above a pond or large puddle and lays her eggs, called a clutch. The eggs develop into small tadpoles, which hatch after several days and fall into the water below. Dragonflies, fish, and water beetles prey on the tadpoles. They remain in the water anywhere from 3 weeks to several months, until they metamorphose, or develop into frogs. Snakes, spiders, bats, and birds of the rainforest are predators of this frog. After full metamorphosis weeks later, the juveniles that survive the first few weeks crawl back into the undergrowth and security of plants in the vicinity of these pools, often in the hollows of tubular plants like bromeliads. Juvenile specimens prey on very small flies and insects during the first months of their lives. The young mature after 2 years and begin mating at the age of 3–4 years. These tree-frogs are known to live as long as 5 years (data from captive breeding programs), depending on the health and conditions of their habitat (i.e. abundant plant growth, plenty of fresh water and abundance of small and larger insects to prey on).

They are sometimes successfully bred in captivity if kept under adequate conditions in high-humidity vivaria (e.g. by using misting equipment), tropical plants like bromelia and other epiphyte plants, together with well-aerated water pools. Their captive habitat should have a 11-12-hour light cycle and an average day temperature of 26 to 28 degrees Celsius (with night-time averages of approx. 22 to 27 degrees Celsius). Simulating a rainy season once a year in November/December will encourage reproduction.

Via Red Eyed Tree Frog

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