Hey, sexy!

Mexican tree frog (Smilisca baudinii)

Mexican tree frog (Smilisca baudinii)

Cute Frog of the Week: April 18, 2011

This svelte silhouette belongs to a Mexican tree frog, Smilisca baudini, who is defying gravity with its leaf-clinging sticky toe pads. It’s probably waiting for the sun to go down, when exciting frog stuff really begins. If there’s been rain, look out—that’s prime breeding time. Males duet with females, forming wonk, wonk sounds into love songs. If a successful pairing occurs, they’ll find a shallow pool for the 2,500-3,500 eggs the female will release across the surface. During the day, you can find these guys sheltering under loose tree bark, burrowed in damp soil, or curled up in a big banana leaf. As a species considered of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, they can afford to chill out. Still, it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out for that occasional spider or fly snack and, of course, beware of those frog-eating snakes!

Mexican tree frogs range in color from brown to green and can even change according to the circumstance. They always retain their classic pattern of dark patches that spreads across their backs and legs. A chunky frog with rather short legs, the Mexican tree frog is the largest tree frog found in the United States, with females reaching as large as 90 mm (3.5 inches). In the States they’re only found in Texas, though, and are most commonly found throughout Central America.

Photo credit: Joe Milmoe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Every week the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project posts a new photo of a cute frog from anywhere in the world with an interesting, fun and unique story to tell. Be sure to check back every Monday for the latest addition.

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