Dressing the part.

Masked tree frog (Smilisca phaeota)--John Dubicki (Flickr)
Masked tree frog (Smilisca phaeota)

Cute Frog of the Week: Sept. 26, 2011

The masked tree frog (Smilisca phaeota) is fond of costume changes. This three-inch frog is generally active at night during the wet season when males woo females with their calls, and it sleeps during the day atop large leaves of ferns. In preparation for its moonlit adventures, the frog changes the color of its back from tan to green.

Its stage is decorated with scenery from the humid lowland forests of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and northern Colombia where it can be found in shallow temporary pools of water. Like any true performer, it is not disturbed by drastically different scenery, and it can even be found in open country. Females lay their eggs in puddles of water which accumulate, covering the top of the water with a film of 2,000 eggs. Tadpoles develop quickly in the temporary pools and puddles, which are sometimes no more than a cattle footprint filled with water.

As a result of its adaptability, the population of masked tree frogs in the wild is considered stable by the IUCN.

Photo by John Dubicki via Flickr.

Banded horned tree frog (Hemiphractus fasciatus) ALL-NEW frog ringtones: Download the masked tree frog’s call!

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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