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Tree frogs

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Tree forgs spend the majority of their lives on trees, ie, in an arboreal state. They are a vast group of frogs, with about 500 different species located all around the world apart from Antarctica. Their size varies from 1.5 cm (Least Tree Frog or Hyla ocularis to 10 cm (Hyla vasta). They have got a typical bright green coloration with white or yellow ventral stripes, which may vary.

Tree frogs have strong and long legs, which enable them to climb, jump and make them very agile. They are able to cling (thank to adhesive pads), walk on narrow branches, catch the prey as well as jump up to 40 times their own length.

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[edit] Why should I be aware of tree frogs?

  • Some varieties of Tree Frogs like the Green Tree Frog, are popular as pets in many parts of the world.
  • Since the time when frogs begin to call can depend on the weather, scientists think that keeping track of this information may help us learn more about climate change.

[edit] All about tree frogs

Tree frogs hunt for food especially during night, which consists of insects and other small invertebrates. They usually rest during the day and as the evening comes they start with typical noisy choruses. The chorus is interrupted by some intervals of silence and can be heard in long distances especially by the water.

Their reproduction cycle mainly depends on weather conditions. Males start to croak and call in order to attract females. Then the female lays eggs, the male fertilizes them with the seminal fluid. This occurs from mid April till mid August. Frogs inhabit almost all areas that are not very far from water (lakes, pools, freshwater rivers, bushes, rain-forests etc.).

[edit] What can I do about tree frogs?

  • These tiny creatures are found all over the worlds in wetlands, and the loss of wetlands is causing a loss of local populations. By protecting wetlands, one can protect not only tree frogs, but also many other species that live within them.
  • For people who keep tree frogs as pets, it is important to bear in mind that they, like other amphibians, have very sensitve skin. Tree frogs absorb chemicals through their skin, so extreme care is needed when handling (wash hand thoroughly with warm water and rinse well - natural oils and salts found on human skin can be damaging, as can any soap or lotion residue).

[edit] Tree frogs and the environment

  • Tree frogs are not endangered. However, their habitats, mostly wetlands, are shrinking at an alarming rate.
  • The highly recognizable image of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog is often used to promote the cause of saving the world's rainforests.
  • Tree frog or Eleutherodactylus coqui poses the greatest threat to native Hawaiian ecosystems where they are found in abundance because it can invade mid-elevation moist and rain forests. This exerts tremendous predation pressure on a variety of native arthropods and, even, snails. This implies a negative impact on the ecosystem as a whole. They have a negative effect on native forests birds, most of who are either partially or largely insectivorous by attacking the same food source. Tree frogs are even considered to be "energy sinks" in native ecosystems in which they increase in numbers because of lack of natural predators. They instead land up as additional food source increasing levels of rats and mongoose population, and therefore increasing predation pressure on native forest birds.

[edit] CopperBytes

  • Tree frogs can change colour rapidly from light to dark, possibly in response to changes in temperature and humidity!
  • The distinctive call of the Pacific Treefrog (especially the mating choruses) is widely used in films for a "tropical" background. Cartoon frogs are often given a Pacific Treefrog voice as well!
  • Pacific Treefrogs can throw their voices to some extent, making it quite difficult to close in on a frog by following its call.
  • The red-eyed tree frog from Central America lays its eggs on leaves that are over the water. When the eggs hatch, the tadpoles fall into the water below.

[edit] References

  • Pacific Tree Frogs
  • Red-Eyed Tree Frogs
  • Frog Facts
  • Exotic Pets