The red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is a species of bright green and yellow amphibians native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.
It is instantly recognizable thanks to its vibrant colors, long hind legs, and signature ruby-red eyes.
Despite its small size, the red-eyed tree frog is an impressive creature with a remarkable biology that has captivated researchers and animal enthusiasts for generations.
This blog will explore many of the unique characteristics and behaviors of this amazing species, from their diet and habitat to their conservation status in the wild.
So dive in and discover everything you need to know about the captivating red-eyed tree frog!
Description and Appearance
Green-Eyed Tree Frog | Jrleyland via Getty Images
The red-eyed tree frog is usually 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length with a slender body and long, powerful hind legs designed for jumping.
Its body is covered in bright yellow or green skin with an additional patch of blue iridescent scales on its back and sides.
The most notable feature of the species is their vibrant ruby-red eyes, which are used to startle predators in the wild.
The red-eyed tree frog also has a more camouflaged brown form that it can change into when threatened.
This helps them blend in with their environment and remain undetected from potential predators.
In addition to its unique coloring, the red-eyed tree frog also has a unique pattern of webbing between its toes that helps it climb and hang on to branches, leaves, and other surfaces.
The species also produce sticky secretions from its feet that help with climbing in wet conditions.
Red-Eyed Tree Frog | Linas Toleikis via Getty Images
The red-eyed tree frog is an insectivore, meaning that it feeds on a variety of flying and crawling insects.
This includes flies, moths, crickets, spiders, caterpillars and other small invertebrates.
The species has a wide range when it comes to its diet and can feed on almost any type of insect it can catch.
Red-eyed tree frogs also supplement their diet with a variety of fruits, such as berries, figs and bananas.
This helps provide the species with essential vitamins and minerals that are otherwise lacking in their insect-based diet.
The red-eyed tree frog will often hunt at night, using its highly sensitive eyes to locate prey in the dark.
During the day, they will typically hide among leaves and branches as a form of camouflage.
Red-Eyed Tree Frog Perched on a Leaf | Heru Agung via Getty Images
The red-eyed tree frog is an explosive breeder, meaning that they reproduce in large numbers during certain times of the year.
Mating typically takes place during the wet season when the frogs congregate near ponds and streams to breed.
The males produce a loud call and perform a series of courtship displays to attract potential mates.
After mating, the female will lay up to 400 eggs that are stuck to vegetation in or near the water.
The tadpoles hatch after around 5 days and typically require another 2-3 weeks before they metamorphose into adult frogs.
Once they reach adulthood, the red-eyed tree frog can live up to 10 years in the wild.
Habitat and Distribution
Where Are You Going, Little Red-Eyed Tree Frog? | jamcgraw via Getty Images
The red-eyed tree frog is native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, from Mexico down to Peru and Brazil.
They typically inhabit humid areas with standing water such as rivers, streams, and ponds.
The species will also inhabit marshlands and swamps where they can find food and shelter.
Red-eyed tree frogs are also found in plantations and gardens where they can take advantage of water sources and insect populations.
The species has become increasingly popular in captivity due to its vibrant coloration and relatively easy care requirements.
Red-Eyed Tree Frog Resting on the Wood | Tanto Yensen via Getty Images
The red-eyed tree frog is listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List due to its wide distribution, healthy population numbers, and lack of major threats in the wild.
However, habitat destruction and pollution still pose a threat to the species and its habitat, and populations may be declining in some areas.
In addition, the pet trade is a major threat to the red-eyed tree frog as individuals are taken from the wild for sale as pets.
As such, it is important to only purchase captive-bred frogs and not support the illegal wildlife trade.
The red-eyed tree frog is a unique and captivating species native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.
Its vibrant red eyes, camouflaged brown form, sticky secretions from its feet, and diet of insects and fruits make it an interesting creature to observe in its natural environment.
The species is currently listed as of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List, however, habitat destruction and illegal wildlife trade still pose a threat to its populations.
It is important for us to continue to conserve their habitat and not support wildlife trafficking if we want our future generations to be able to enjoy these amazing animals.