The first thing you notice about the red eyed tree frog is its bright green skin and bold red eyes. Color is not the only fascinating feature of the red eyed tree frog’s skin. Red eyed tree frog skin is very delicate. It plays a part in the frog’s defense against predators and is their source of moisture and oxygen. Lovely to look at, startling to predators and sensitive to touch, red eyed tree frog skin is truly wondrous.
The Importance of Moisture
The red eyed tree frog’s skin is their main source of hydration. They do not drink water, but absorb it through their skin. Water not only keeps the red eyed tree frog’s skin moist and healthy but the extra oxygen from the water assists in the frog’s breathing. That is why it is vitally important that red eyed tree frog’s are provided with fresh water in captivity.
In the wild, the red eyed tree frog stays near a water source. They rest during the day on the underside of leaves where they are protected from the heat and get extra moisture from rain falling under the leaves. They choose spots to rest along waterways of the rainforest.
The Skin as Protection
Red eyed tree frog skin color will change depending on the frog’s environment. When a red eyed tree frog rests during the day, the green of its skin blends in with the leaf it clings to. If it is exposed to darker colors, such as the brown of tree trunks or soil, the red eyed tree frog’s skin color will change in order to keep the frog camouflaged.
Aside from its bulging red eyes, the red eyed tree frog’s skin is part of its startle coloration. Startle coloration is when a predator approaches and the frog opens its eyes and reveals its bright blue and white flank stripes and orange feet. The sudden bright colors startle the predator long enough for the frog to escape to freedom.
Handle With Care
Red eyed tree frog skin is very delicate and sensitive. It is imperative that those in captivity are handled as little as possible. When handling is necessary, make sure you wash your hands with an antibacterial cleanser and rinse them thoroughly. Chemicals, sweat, dirt and debris from your hands can be easily absorbed into the frog’s skin and make them ill.