Red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis calladryas)
Cute Frog of the Week: October 25, 2010
Did you know that the red-eyed tree frog can jump up to twenty times its own body length? That would be like a human jumping across the width of two basketball courts in one leap!
This unique frog with its bulging red eyes, flashy orange feet, and blue and yellow streaked sides makes for a stunning sight. Its colors may suggest that it’s venomous, but it actually uses the markings to startle predators. While sleeping during the day, the frog uses suction cups on its toes to stick to the bottom of leafs and poses in such a way that the colorings are hidden. When a predator comes upon the frog, the frog opens its eyes and unfolds its body to unveil the vivid markings. This technique, called “startle coloration,” happens in an instant and may make a bird or snake hesitate, giving the frog an opportunity to escape.
In addition to sleeping on the underside of leaves, red-eyed tree frogs lay clutches of eggs underneath leaves that are directly above a water source. The frogs’ embryos can sense when a predator is about to attack. They can prematurely hatch within seconds to avoid being eaten and drop safely into the river below. When the eggs hatch, the fluid from inside the eggs helps wash the tadpoles down into the water. It takes about sixteen weeks for these tadpoles to become full-grown adults.
Photo credit: Jeff Coulter, volunteer, Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project.
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.