It is brilliantly colored, can leap distances twenty times its own length and can differentiate between prey and predator with its amazing bright red eyes. It is the red eyed tree frog. This wonderful amphibian makes its home in rainforests, spending much of its time in trees, hence its name. This frog is an extraordinary species that is recognized worldwide as the ambassador of the diminishing rainforests. To gain some insight into this fascinating creature, here are some interesting red eyed tree frog facts:
- The red eyed tree frog was discovered in Panama by Edward D. Cope in 1862.
- Its scientific name is agalychnis callidryas. This name comes from the Greek words kallos, meaning beautiful and dryas meaning tree/wood nymph. This wonderful creature is truly a beautiful tree-dweller.
- The red eyed tree frog is found in the tropical lowlands of southern Mexico, throughout Central America and in northern South America.
- Although they are not endangered, their habitat of the rainforest is rapidly being depleted. This is one of the unfortunate red eyed tree frog facts. They have become the symbol for rainforest preservation, as seen in many posters and advertisements for this cause.
- One of the most interesting red eyed tree frog facts is that it sleeps during the day and feeds at night. During the day, they self-camouflage for protection. Red eyed tree frogs remain motionless, cover their blue and yellow sides with their back legs and tuck their orange feet under their belly. They shut their vibrant red eyes with one of their three eyelids, which disguises the bright color but allows them to see.
- Their red eyes are a form of protection against predators. If a predator approaches, the frog opens his eyes and this startles the predator. This is called “startle coloration”. The bright color of the frog’s eyes startles the predator and this slight delay in attack gives the nimble frog sufficient time to escape.
- The red eyed tree frog lives approximately 5 years in the wild and about 10 years in captivity.
- The female grows approximately one inch longer than the male, which grows up to 2 inches.
- The young red eyed tree frog is generally brown and turns green as it matures. Their color is also affected by environment and stressors.
- The red eyed tree frog is also called red eyed leaf frog and is sometimes nicknamed “monkey frog” because they spend the majority of their life in trees and are great jumpers.
- Their big, crimson colored eyes can see in most directions. They also have excellent depth perception and can see for long distances. They possess good color vision, which enables them to move toward their desired forested terrain.
- They have sticky pads on their toes to help them cling to surfaces.
- They are not poisonous and make wonderful pets; although, they should not be handled. They are best left alone and admired for their wonderful character and striking appearance.
The above red eyed tree frog facts attest to the popularity of this colorful amphibian. The red eyed tree frog is a magnificent, delicate creature that has captivated many with its brilliant colors, interesting physical appearance and calculated movements. In the wild or cared for in a terrarium, the red eyed tree frog is extraordinary.