Every weekday I will feature a new animal and some quick interesting facts about them! I will sometimes also include photos, videos, or links to articles where you can learn more.
The scientific name for the red-eyed tree frog is Agalychnis callidryas, which comes from the Greek words kalos and dryas and translates as beautiful wood nymph.
They are nocturnal and arboreal frogs that are native to southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. They live in humid lowlands and rain forests in areas near rivers and ponds.
Red-eyed tree frogs rely on camouflage to protect themselves during the day while sleeping. They sleep stuck on leaves with their legs and feet tucked under and their blue sides hidden. When they close their eyes, they are mostly green and camouflaged on the leaf.
They are famous for their red eyes. Their eye color is used for defense. When they suddenly open their eyes and look at an oncoming predator, the appearance of the red eyes may startle the predator momentarily so the frog has time to flee. This is called deimatic behavior or startle display.
Red-eyed tree frogs are excellent jumpers and are sometimes called a monkey frog. They also have excellent vision and can see far away with great depth perception.
These frogs are insectivores and eat crickets, moths, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects.
Their predators include snakes, spiders, tarantulas, bats, owls, toucans, and young alligators. Tadpoles may be eaten by dragonflies, fish, and water beetles.
Red-eyed tree frogs lay eggs on leaves that hang over a pond. The eggs hatch about a week later and tadpoles fall into the pond below. Eggs can hatch early if they are threatened.
They transform from tadpoles into frogs at 3 weeks up to several months old depending on environmental conditions. They reach maturity around 2 years of age. An adult can be 1.5 to 2.75 inches with females always larger than males.
Red-eyed tree frogs can live 5 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity with excellent care.
Check out this beautiful video by National Geographic.