Balanced delicately on a leaf above a pond, several eggs laid by a tree frog are piled in organized chaos like a quiet suburb on a piece of prime real estate. Suddenly, the eggs start bursting with life, the leaf shaking from the turbulent activity, and out the eggs pop hundreds of baby-baby what?
If you have ever wondered what a red-eyed tree frog baby is called, your wait is over. Bursting from the eggs are tadpoles that promptly slide off the leaf and land in the water. These tadpoles will soon evolve into stocky little froglets, who will crawl back out of the water and join the community of red-eyed tree frogs.
What Are Red-Eyed Tree Frog Babies Called and The Journey Of A Frog Baby
As with most things in nature, froglets need to navigate their way through hazards and earn their right to join the survivors of their clan. Their journey starts with mom laying about 20-40 eggs precariously on a leaf strategically placed above a body of water.
The tadpoles swim frantically inside the eggs until they break free and are swept away in the current of froggy goo off the leaf and hopefully to the pond below. Once they plop themselves into the pond, they live on a buffet of bugs and evade predators until they morph into little brown froglets.
Using their new legs, they climb out of the pond, avoiding predators, and climb the nearest tree. As our little froglets mature into adulthood a few things happen:
- They turn into a brilliant green
- Develop blue; yellow striped sides
- Their feet morph into orange or red.
- A dash of blue lights up their thighs
- And of course, those hypnotic, entrancing red eyes come into play.
The same colors that we admire and seek them out for, nature has designed these characteristics to serve as an excellent defense mechanism against their natural predators:
- Small Alligators
The froglet’s path from the leaf to the water, to the tree, is populated with these predators that must be avoided from tadpole through adulthood.
What Are The Defenses Against Predators?
The red eyes of tree frogs make preditors take a second glance at what they are about to eat. While the predator is questioning its prey, stunned by the brilliant colors, the frog capitalizes on the confusion by darting off to another tree.
These frogs have a third eyelid close without losing sight, allowing them to shield their eyes from danger. The red coloring of their eyes enables excellent vision at night, so they can maneuver quickly in the dark, which is perfect for a nocturnal species.
The really cool thing about these frogs colors is that they can change them to cater to their mood or blend with the environment, like little froggy mood rings. The ability to change color provides camouflage, including the blue dashes on its thighs that they hide when they sleep.
What Do Red-Eyed Tree Frogs Eat?
Froglets live in the rainforest of Central and South America, which are rich in froglet foods. Although red-eyed tree frogs will eat anything that fits into its mouth, they prefer:
- Crickets; and sometimes
- Other small frogs
Are Baby Red-Eyed Tree Frogs Made?
Males attract females with their very sexy croaks, and once he has her attention, he needs to fight off all the other frogs so he can latch to her. She grabs onto a leaf for dear life as all the frogs fight each other on her back. She is stronger than she looks and can handle all of the weight wrestling around above her.
The winner of the battle and his mate slide to the underbelly of the leaf and hang upside down over the water. The female lays her eggs, and the male’s job is to fertilize them. Then both frogs drop off into the water, the male still clinging to his female, so another male doesn’t take her. If he does lose her, she will choose another.
Completing The Journey
Red-eyed tree frogs are a tough amphibian. They fight for their rights to live and mate. This is one book that you don’t want to judge by its beautiful cover, they earn the stripes they wear, and it all starts with a tadpole in an egg.