Agalychnis callidryas, also called the red-eyed treefrog, is an arboreal hylid that is native to Neotropical rainforests ranging from Mexico, through the forests of Central America, all the way to Colombia.
It is a very common frog in these regions and is sometimes kept in captivity as a pet. The scientific name of the red-eyed treefrog is A. callidryas, and it comes from two Greek words kalos and dryas.
- Scientific name: Agalychnis callidryas
- Class: Amphibia
- Family: Phyllomedusidae
- Conservation status: Least Concern (Population decreasing) Encyclopedia of Life
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Higher classification: Agalychnis
Anatomy of the red-eyed tree frog
Thanks to their obviously big bulging pair of red eyes, it is not exactly difficult to recognize the red-eyed tree frogs.
This frog’s alien-like feature is its major defense mechanism known as “startle coloration.” When the frog shuts its eyes, its leafy green eyelids help it to easily disguise by blending in with the leafy environment where it lives.
If the nocturnal frog is disturbed or approached while it’s asleep during the day time, its eyes that open suddenly will momentarily paralyze the predator as it will be an unexpected occurrence.
Thus, the suddenly open eyes will provide the frog with a couple of seconds to make an escape. However, the eyes of this frog are not the only fashion statement they make! To match the beauty of their pair of eyes, these frogs attractive bright lime green bodies that may feature hints of blue or yellow.
According to the mood of these frogs, they can even change to a dark green or reddish-brown skin color. The red-eyed tree frog has plain white bellies and throats, which are obvious when you flip them over.
Their sides have a blue color with white borders and some vertical white bars. The feet of the Red-eyed frog is bright red or orange.
Great climbers, the red-eyed tree frogs possess cup-like footpads that allow them to spend most of their days clinging to green leaves in the rainforest canopy and have their nights dedicated to hunting for insects and other frogs that are smaller in size.
Male red-eyed tree frogs are usually smaller than the females as they can grow up to two inches in length, while the females can grow as big as three inches in length.
Habitat of the Red-eyed treefrog
The red-eyed frogs were first identified in the 1860s by herpetologist Edward Cope. The red-eyed tree frog is local to the lowlands and on the slopes of Central America and northern Mexico.
As with other amphibians, the red-eyed tree frogs begin their life as tiny little tadpoles in temporary or permanent ponds or waters.
As an adult frog, a red-eyed tree frog will remain dependent on water to keep its skin moist, never straying far from water sources such as ponds and rivers in humid lowland rainforests.
The red-eyed tree frogs can be seen clinging to tree branches, tree trunks, and sometimes underneath tree leaves. The adults of this frog specie live in the canopy layer of the thick rainforest, sometimes taking a rest inside bromeliads.
Diet of the Red-eyed treefrog
Red-eyed tree frogs are known to be carnivores, as they feed mostly on insects. These frogs prefer insects such as crickets, moths, flies, and grasshoppers. Sometimes, the Red-eyed treefrogs will feed on smaller frogs.
However, the most attractive meal for this kind of frog are tadpoles, fruit flies and pinhead crickets.
Threats of the Red-eyed treefrog
Frogs of all types have historically been known as indicator species, proof of the health of an ecosystem or its impending vulnerability.
It is not a surprise that the world’s amphibian population has recently experienced a massive decline.
A number of research indicates that factors such as chemical contamination from the use of pesticides, acid rain, and even fertilizers are a cause of risk to the frogs.
The introduction of external predators, as well as increased UV-B exposure from an ozone layer that is weakened and may damage fragile eggs.
Even though the red-eyed treefrog itself has not to be known to be endangered, the rainforest, which is home to these frogs, is under constant threat.