Plenty of people have seen tree frogs (or arboreal frogs) in their backyard from time to time, which leads them to a great fascination with the species. Are you one of them? Then you’ll be glad you ran across this intriguing list of two types of tree frogs you will want to know about.
Tree frogs, or arboreal frogs, are a diverse family with over 800 species around the world. The unique thing about this species of amphibians is that not every tree frog lives in trees. Instead, the species are defined by their suction-cup toes that are designed to help them climb.
Tree frogs come in all colors, from green to grey, blue, yellow, and red, although most of the ones in North America are tones of green and brown. Their average size can be anywhere from 1 to 5 inches. Their small stature is necessary to safely perch on leaves and tree branches without the branches succumbing to their weight. Let’s have a look at some common tree frogs.
1. Gray Tree Frog
Gray Tree Frogs are anything but striking and can be very hard to spot. These frogs are almost always a tint of gray with black splotches on their back. They are excellent at camouflage and their coloring can slightly change and is determined by age, weather, humidity, and activity. Gray tree frogs are sometimes mistaken for toads due to their bumpy skin.
Gray tree frogs can be found across most of the eastern United States. They prefer a heavily wooded area that is close to temporary or permanent bodies of water. Their call is shorter than other frogs and has a musical chime to it.
2. Green Tree Frog
The sleek and slender green tree frog is found predominantly in the southern United States and is one of the most common frogs you could find in your backyard. Although these fellows may be small (1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches long), there is no mistaking that they are nearby if you have trees and a small body of water.
Green tree frogs have a fascinating yet loud and abrupt call that sounds similar to a bell. That is why green tree frogs have coined the nickname “Bell Frog” or “Cowbell Frog.” Laying several hundred or thousands of eggs per year, green tree frogs are not endangered.
3. Common Tree Frog
The common tree frog is known by many names, including the Asian Brown Treefrog, Four-Lined Tree Frog, and Golden Tree Frog. That’s all thanks to the typical coloring of the common tree frog, which can range from a pale brown to a dark brown and everything in between. Typically, they have some type of pattern such as lines.
A few other distinctive features of the common tree frog include the medium-sized head paired with a pointed nose. During rainstorms, these frogs can be heard with their “quack” sounds. Common tree frogs are one of the most adaptable species, which has saved them from joining the endangered list.
4. Spring Peeper
Like their name indicates, Spring Peeper make peeping sounds in the spring. The peep males make is a mating call to attract females of the same species near small, fish-free bodies of water. I went on the look out for Spring Peeper and I can assure you they are not easy to spot! The best time to go looking for them is during mating season at sunset.
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5. Cuban Tree Frog
The Cuban Tree Frog is one of the larger species of arboreal frogs, with many growing up to five inches long (although two to three is most common). Due to their larger size, Cuban tree frogs tend to have a diet consisting of a larger variety, including frogs, lizards, and small snakes.
Originally from Cuba, Cuban tree frogs tend to enjoy tropical climates, which is why they’re found in many areas of the Panhandle. Aside from their larger stature, it can sometimes be challenging to determine this species as their body color varies from gray to green to brown. Sometimes, they are also marked with stripes or blotches.
6. Squirrel Tree Frog
Perhaps one of the most interesting tree frogs in the arboreal bunch is the squirrel tree frog. This amphibian is unique to other arboreal frogs because they can change their color in a chameleon-like manner. It can sometimes be challenging to point out a squirrel tree frog with such various colors and decorative spots or stripes.
The name “squirrel tree frog” comes from the squirrel-like chatter noise they present during and after rainfall. These frogs currently live in Southern states of the United States and are not on the watch list for endangerment.
7. Australian Green Tree Frog
The Australian Green Tree Frog is on the bigger side of tree frogs. It can reach up to 11 cm in body length. They have a green back and sometimes have several small white spots and a white belly. In some of the northern areas, they can have yellow on the fingers, toes, webbing, and undersurfaces of the arms and legs.
8. White’s Tree Frog
White’s tree frogs are beautiful and are typically found in Australia and New Guinea. White’s Tree Frogs range in color and are sometimes confused for other types of tree frogs. They can be light blue, gray and green. Females have white throats, while the males have a greyish wrinkled vocal sac under their throat. They tend to be large compared to other tree frog species ranging from 3 to 4.5 inches, with the females typically larger than the males.
Extracts from their skin have medical uses, for example to fight staphylococcus bacteria that can cause abscesses. Extracts from their skin have also been used by scientists in the medical field to control blood pressure and treats cold sores in humans.
9. White-Lipped Tree Frog
The White-Lipped Tree Frog is Australia’s largest native frog. It can grow up to 14 cm. Here is some information you should know about this type of frog.
They can be pure green to greenish-brown or pale brown and are easy to distinguish from other species thanks to the white stripe that runs along the lower jaw and the side of its head. White-Lipped Tree Frogs may chance color during breeding season, notably around their arms and legs which may become salmon-pink.
10. Magnificent Tree Frog
The Magnificent Tree Frog is another frog with a cool name. To distinguish it from the others, look out for the sizeable paratoid gland on its head. They can be found in Australia in areas with low rainfall. They are brightly-colored to warn predators against eating them.
11. Red-Eyed Tree Frog
You won’t find this frog in your backyard in North America but it would be hard to miss a Red-Eyed Tree Frog if it was nearby. They’re an intricate sight in nature with their bulging, bright red eyes and oversized, beaming orange feet. But their coloring is more than just a fascinating spectacle for the human eye; it’s also how the Red-Eyed Tree Frog of Mexico, Central America, and South America protects itself.
The Red-Eyed Tree Frog is a fascinating amphibian and is nocturnal by nature. These carnivores feast on crickets, flies, and moths in the night. Although they are not at risk of being extinct any time soon, the Red-Eyed Tree Frog population has slightly diminished in recent years.
12. Morelet’s Tree Frog
Much like the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, the Morelet’s tree frog is another arboreal frog with charming yet bulging eyes. The Morelet’s frog has large eyes of pools of black, which is why they are referred to as black-eyed tree frogs.
The black-eyed tree frog enjoys forests near permanent water. Anywhere that is moist in Mexico, Brazil, and Honduras, you are likely to find a black-eyed tree frog. Unfortunately, these black-eyed tree frogs are becoming extinct as they were riddled with a fungal infection known as chytridiomycosis.
13. Fringed Leaf Tree Frog
Although the fringed leaf frog is rarer than other kinds of tree frogs, it makes the list of must-knows due to its fascinating color scheme. Unlike the rest of its arboreal family, the fringed leaf frog tends to have a bluer shade with bright orange legs.
This tropical-looking frog lives in the high tops of trees and rarely comes down below unless it is time to breed. Although this frog may appear poisonous, they are not a threat – the bright colors are to warn potential threats not to come closer.
14. Waxy Monkey Tree Frog
The Waxy Monkey Tree Frog has a cool name. Their skin has a green waxy appearance which makes them easier to distinguish than some of the others. These tree frogs spend their entire adult life in trees. Female Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs tend to be about 25% larger than males. They are very calm and are often kept as pets (although this is not for everyone).
15. Japanese Tree Frog
The Japanese Tree Frog is mainly found in Japan, Korea, and China. They were, at one point, considered to be a subspecies of a European tree frog. They are similar to the Common Tree Frog but can be distinguished by looking at the dark spot below the eye. If it’s present, it’s a Japanese Tree Frog.
Japanese Tree Frogs lay large clutches of eggs with 340 to 1,500 eggs deposited individually. This is a fairly large number compared to most tree frog species. As with many tree frogs, the Japanese Tree Frog population is beginning to decline.
More About Tree Frogs
The realm of arboreal frogs is immense, and there is so much to learn. Although this is just a shortlist of some of the most common and favorite tree frogs on the planet, there is plenty more to explore.
Definitely check out our other guides for more fun tree frog info below:
- Can Tree Frogs Swim?
- 20 Awesome Tree Frog Facts
- 8 Tips to Find Tree Frogs
- 14 Fascinating Yet Bizarre Types of Frogs
- 14 Frogs Can You Find in The Rainforest
Common Questions About Tree Frogs
Are tree frogs dangerous? Most tree frogs in North America are not dangerous or poisonous to humans. The most dangerous and poisonous tree frogs are found in South America, notably those from the Poison Dart Frog family.
Where do tree frogs go during the day? Tree frogs generally sit on leaves, branches, or at the base of trees under leaf litter during the day. Tree frogs tend to camouflage and hide from predators such as birds during the day.
Where do tree frogs usually live? Tree frogs usually live in trees near small permanent bodies of fresh water such as ponds and marshes. Tree frogs generally spend most of their time on leaves, branches, or at the base of trees under leaf litter.