You might have forgotten about them because you don’t come across them very often, but they are still here and they are fascinating. Red-eyed tree frogs are extremely colorful creatures, with bright green skin, white throat and belly, and blue sides with white to yellow stripes.
To top everything off, their feet are bright orange. However, they certainly don’t have such striking eyes for no reason. Red-eyed tree frogs happen to have excellent eyesight accompanied by an equally excellent sense of smell; this is ideal for catching their prey and for warning of potential predators.
How Red-eyed tree frogs use their senses
Better known as Agalychnis callidryas, the red-eyed tree frog is truly a fascinating creature. Not only are they made up of some amazing colors and look beautiful, but they are also quite smart and know how to use what they have to their advantage when it comes to their prey and predators.
They are extremely good at hiding, despite their flashing colors. For example, if one of these frogs is on a leaf, it will tuck its legs close to its body and close its eyes to hide. However, if they sense a predator, they will open their eyes and start jumping away.
Their jump will show a fast passing of a mixture of bright colors, and it is believed that the frogs used this method to startle their predator and in a way confuse them, whilst actually buying themselves some time to fully getaway.
This doesn’t happen that often though because generally during the day, these frogs will be tucked away in their leaves – sometimes even using their yellow color to blend in more with spotted leaves – and will hunt for insects and such during the night, where they have less chance of being eaten.
Senses of the red-eyed tree frog
Red-eyed tree frogs don’t only use their eyes to startle and notice predators or prey, for them, it’s also a mechanism used for eating. Like most other frogs, they close their eyes when they swallow something.
This is because, if they catch an insect, their teeth will hold it in place, but their eyes will push it further down, making the process go by quicker and giving them more time to get a move on. What they do is they pull their eyes back into their body to create this pushing effect. It is safe to say they have multi-purpose eyes.
When it comes to attracting females, red-eyed tree frogs make great use of their vocal, and hearing abilities. It is more like a musical ritual, in which the male frogs start croaking loudly by one by, each of them joining another in the hope to attract females.
In very rare cases, the male frogs will reach a point of quivering. This is a term used for when their croaking reaches a maximum and their entire body starts shaking; they will rise on all fours in order to be intimidating to other males and hopefully attract even more females. In even more rare cases, two males that reach the quivering stage will get into a fight.
These frogs are easily comparable to spider-man because they can stick to pretty much any surface, with or against the rules of gravity. Their feet are not entirely flat, the uneven surface on their skin allows for mucus to flow in between the texture and allows them to stick to any surface they wish to, especially if the surface is moist. Overall, quite an impressive addition to just a regular touch.
To summarise, there is a lot more to red-eyed tree frog senses than people generally think or expect. These brightly colored little animals have a lot of skills and trick up their sleeve which proves rather useful in the wild. Their extremely noticeable feature – their eyes – is not only mesmerizing to look at but proves to be a good distraction when trying to get away from potential predators. Especially at night, their eyes are a lot more noticeable but their vision also is a lot better, enabling them to hunt and collect as many bugs as they want.
If they are in a rush, they will simply close their eyes and use them to push down their food and eventually swallow it. They are extremely vocal when it comes to attracting females, they will go as far as reaching a maximum in their croaking, and reaching a point of trembling or even get into a fight with another male frog.
Lastly, they are somewhat like spider-man, as they are able to stick to any kind of surface anywhere, thanks to the uneven skin on their feet allowing for mucus to flow through and leaving them the ability to stay or hang from and on any surface they wish.