Red-Eyed Tree Frogs

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are arboreal frogs about 3 in long, and up to .5 oz in weight that can be found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Red-Eyed Tree Frogs generally have green skin, red eyes, orange feet, and striped sides with yellow, orange, or blue.

Common NameRed-Eyed Tree Frogs
Other NamesNone
Scientific NameAgalychnis callidryas
LocationsCentral and Southern America
CharacteristicsBright red eyesGreen skin Blue and yellow stripes
ColorGreen, striped, red eyes 
OriginCentral and Southern America
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
FamilyPhyllomedusidae
Genus Agalychnis
SpeciesA. callidryas
PoisonousNo
Max Length3 in
Max Weight.5 oz
Lifespan5 – 15 years

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are fascinating species because of their coloration. Generally, animals that are as colorful as Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are poisonous in the wild. However, these frogs are not poisonous yet use their bright colors and red eyes to deter predators.

These frogs are tiny and light enough to be able to successfully stick to trees and their leaves. Females are larger than males and grow up to 3 inches in length, whereas males may grow to about 2 inches from snout to vent.

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are tiny arboreal amphibians. They have small forelimbs and relatively long hind limbs with sticky digits that help them hold on to trees and sleep on leaves.

The main feature of the Red-Eyed Tree Frogs is, of course, their red eyes. They have large eyeballs that seem to almost to pop out. Their irises are a bright red, and their thin vertical pupils are black.

Their feet are typically red, but they could also be orange, yellow, or golden colored. Red-Eyed Tree Frogs usually have tougher skin on their backs than on their bellies and the inside of their limbs.

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs camouflage extremely well and can look exactly like the green environment around them. They generally camouflage while they sleep, adapting to the color of the leaves they are laying on, and cover their eyes with their nictitating membrane.

Frog Sleep Nictitating Membrane-min

Tips on How to Spot Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs can be found in the neotropical forests of Central and South America. You can find Red-Eyed Frogs in Northern Oaxaca, Southern Veracruz, Central Panama, Southwestern Costa Rica, Northern Colombia, Southwestern Nicaragua.

If you are native to this area or just visiting, you could go looking for these frogs. However, the forests which they inhabit are very dangerous and require a qualified guide. So do not go alone without qualified help.

If you find the opportunity to safely look for Red-Eyed Tree Frogs in the wild, here are some tips that will help you spot them:

  • In the daytime, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are usually inactive. They hide underneath the leaves and stay dormant to avoid predators. So it is much easier to find them at night when they are active.
  • Red-Eyed Tree Frogs love areas with abundant vegetation and trees with a lot of canopies and foliage. Identify these types of areas while searching for them.
  • It is much easier to find them during the Rainy Season when they come down from the treetops and can be found near water to lay eggs.
  • Red-Eyed Tree Frogs look very much like the leaves they sit on so be attentive and look for a bump when searching for them.
  • In the mating season, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs usually make calls to attract mates. So, if you happen to be searching for them this season, follow their calls until you find these frogs.
  • Be patient, it can take a while to find these frogs but it is very rewarding when you do 🙂 

Interesting Facts About the Red-Eyed Tree Frogs

  • Red-Eyed Tree Frogs can leap incredible distances because of their muscular and long hind limbs. Their limbs help them to hop from tree to tree or from one tree branch to another.
  • Unlike most frogs, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs do not have eyelids. Instead, they only have nictitating membranes to cover their eyes and stay alert while resting. The membranes are transparent, so the frogs can see through them and know when a predator is approaching.
  • Both male and female Red-Eyed Tree Frogs make their mating calls.
  • Female Red-Eyed Tree Frogs lay about 40 eggs on leaves above water after mating.
  • In the wild, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs usually do not live longer than 5 years. But in captivity, they can even live up to 15 years.
  • Red-Eyed Tree Frogs often open their eyes suddenly in front of their predators to scare them away. The sudden glare of the bright red stuns the predators and gives the frogs a little time to escape.
  • Male Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are known to dance and shake their bum to defend their territories.

More About Red-Eyed Tree Frogs

In conclusion, Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are a peculiar species of frogs that have gained popularity over the years. They are a favorite of many documentaries and amphibian lovers alike.

Common Questions About Red-Eyed Tree Frogs

Why do Red-Eyed Tree Frogs have red eyes? Red-Eyed Tree Frogs have red eyes to frighten and scare off predators. Primary colors generally indicate toxicity in nature, and although Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are not poisonous, they flash their red eyes, and blue and yellow sides at predators to avoid being eaten.

Are Red-Eyed Tree Frogs poisonous? Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are not poisonous. Although they are brightly colored with blue and yellow stripes — a characteristic color combination of most poisonous frogs — they do not secrete toxins that can kill humans.

What do Red-Eyed Tree Frogs eat? Red-Eyed Tree Frogs eat a variety of insects including crickets, tree lice, ants, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, small spiders, worms, slugs, and tiny frogs.

What are Red-Eyed Tree Frogs’ predators? Red-Eyed Tree Frogs have many predators including snakes, tarantulas, larger frogs, primates, piranhas, and many birds of prey.  Red-Eyed Tree Frogs use their color and eyes to scare the predators and avoid being eaten.

Can you keep a Red-Eyed Tree Frog as a pet? Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are popular pets yet demand very strict conditions to live comfortably. If you are not willing to maintain a strict environment and regularly feed the frog live prey, do not get a Red-Eyed Tree Frog as a pet.

What do Red-Eyed Tree Frogs sound like? Red-Eyed Tree Frogs make a mating call that resembles something like a “chack.” Both males and females make this sound when looking for mates, unlike most frog species. 

How many babies do Red-Eyed Tree Frogs have? Female Red-Eyed Tree Frogs usually lay about 40 eggs on leaves above or very close to the water. Very few survive and become tadpoles due to predators. The surviving eggs transform into tadpoles and drop into the water below to swim and look for food.

Are Red-Eyed Tree Frogs endangered? Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are listed as least concerned in the IUCN red list of endangered species, however, their population is consistently decreasing.

Sources

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2020. Agalychnis callidryasThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T55290A3028059. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-1.RLTS.T55290A3028059.en