How do red-eyed tree frogs adapt to their environment? While these little frogs look stunning, they have made adapting to their environments an amazing feat. In short, they are able to camouflage their bright and vibrant colorings to blend in with their surroundings, they can physically change their coloring, and they have a third eyelid that helps to protect their vivid eyes.
These little red-eyed tree frogs are resilient creatures. Their adaptations have allowed them to flourish. Let’s take a closer look at all this tiny frog can do!
About the Red-Eyed Tree Frog
Red-eyed tree frogs are tropical amphibians, found in Central America and the southern regions of Mexico. Some countries of origin include Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, and the northern countries of South America. The scientific name for these little guys is Agalychnis Calidryas, and they are amazingly tiny, only 2 to 8 centimeters in length!
They make their homes near several bodies of water located in the rainforest, such as rivers, ponds, and streams. Like amphibians, they’ll need the water for their little baby tadpoles to survive.
They are carnivorous and eat other creatures such as insects, small vertebrates, and sometimes, even other frogs!
Some Identifying Marks of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog
- Red-eyed tree frogs have, yep, you guessed it, red eyes. These dramatic eyes are likely the first thing you’ll see on these frogs, as they are unmistakable, bugging out from the side of its head.
- These tree frogs have a bright green body, almost fluorescent in color.
- The feet of the red-eyed tree frog is red as well, and sometimes can be a yellowish-orange.
- The underside of this beautiful frog is marked with bright blue stripes.
These markings are distinct and set this frog apart from all the other animals in the rainforest. It is truly a lovely creature, and its coloring is so bright you’ll wonder how it can ever hide from predators. Let’s read on to find out!
How do Red-Eyed Tree Frogs Adapt in Their Environment?
These frogs have wonderful little ways to avoid being seen or eaten by predators. In fact, their means of adaptation might just mean you’ll never actually see one if you should go on the hunt. They’re indeed brightly colorful, but these guys are well-equipped for disappearing wherever they happen to be.
- First, red-eyed tree frogs are able to hide their vibrant markings by camouflaging themselves underneath a few leaves. Not only does this allow for cover, but this also gives the frog much-needed moisture to keep it from dehydrating.
- Second, red-eyed tree frogs are nocturnal, so they sleep mostly by day. This means those predators that would see their glorious markings in the light of day will not be able to see them in the dark of night.
- Third, this little frog will tuck it’s feet into its body so that its markings cannot be seen. Once its eyes are closed, it’s signature red, glowing eyes are completely hidden. Thus, this beautiful creature becomes nothing more than a little green speck wherever it hangs out.
- Fourth, these frogs have tiny suckers on the bottom of their feet, which helps them to easily climb up a tree or upon leaves to flee predators.
- Fifth, when one of these frogs are all curled up, they might suddenly show off their striking coloring by opening their eyes and revealing their feet, thereby confusing their predators or scaring them altogether.
- Sixth, the red-eyed tree frog has a third eyelid which not only protects their eyes from predators, but also from each other. Mating can be quite competitive as males fight over females, and these eyelids help keep their eyes protected. It is not uncommon for several males to cling to a single female, therefore protecting its eyes is of utmost importance.
- Seventh, these tree frogs lay their eggs on the underside of leaves that hover right above a body of water. That way, their eggs cannot be found by predators, and once their eggs hatch, the little tadpoles fall right into the water!
- Eighth, while their coloring is so distinct among other frogs of the rainforest, the red-eyed tree frog is able to actually change its coloring like a chameleon, depending on their environment or their mood. Good luck ever finding one in the wild!
The Red-Eyed Tree Frog’s Habitat
The red-eyed tree frog’s main predators are snakes, owls, bats, tarantulas, and small alligators. The frogs themselves are very important to their immediate ecosystem, as they help control the overpopulation of insects as well as other frogs. Most tadpoles, unfortunately, do not make it to become adult frogs.
The lucky ones, however, crawl out of the water as froglets and find a nice tree to live on for the rest of its life. Amazingly, it only takes 5 days from fertilization for the tadpoles to hatch into the water!
Unfortunately, the red-eyed tree frog’s habitat is shrinking due to deforestation of the rainforest of Central and South America. Even so, these little frogs are not endangered and are often caught and sold as pets in various pet stores. The average lifespan of a red-eyed tree frog is approximately 5 years.
These frogs are not venomous and are the right size and temperament to become a pet. They are relatively easy to feed and care for, as they can survive on crickets from the pet store. However, if you decide to keep one as a pet, you’ll need an adequately-sized aquarium with plenty of land and water for them to live on.
All in All
All in all, red-eyed tree frogs are beautiful, adaptive, and a great option for a tiny pet. They have fascinating ways of adapting to their environments, even if they live in your home.
Just be careful, they are known as monkey frogs due to their unbelievable jumping ability, so be warned if you should catch one, you might have to catch it again and again