AppearanceAs its name suggests, the red-eyed tree frog has red eyes with vertically narrowed pupils. It has a vibrant green body with yellow and blue vertically striped sides. Its webbed feet and toes are orange or red. The skin on the red-eyed tree frog's stomach is soft and fragile skin, whereas the back is thicker and rougher.
The red-eyed tree frog has three eyelids, and sticky pads on its toes. Phyllomedusid tree frogs are arboreal animals, meaning they spend a majority of their lives in trees; they are excellent jumpers.
DistributionRed-eyed tree frogs inhabit areas near rivers and ponds in rainforests from southern Mexico, through Central America, to northern Colombia.
BehaviorRed-eyed tree frogs are not poisonous and rely on camouflage to protect themselves. During the day, they remain motionless, cover their blue sides with their back legs, tuck their bright feet under their stomachs, and shut their red eyes. Thus, they appear almost completely green, and well hidden among the foliage. It is sometimes kept as a pet.
HabitatRed-eyed tree frogs inhabit areas near rivers and ponds in rainforests from southern Mexico, through Central America, to northern Colombia.
ReproductionDuring mating season, the male frogs shake the branches where they are sitting to improve their chances of finding a mate by keeping rivals at bay. This is the first evidence that tree-dwelling vertebrates use vibration to communicate. When rainfall is at its highest, a male red-eyed tree frog calls "chack" to get the attention of the female. During amplexis, the female carries the male on her back for up to several hours during the oviposition process. The female chooses a leaf above a pond or large puddle, on which to lay her clutch of eggs. The eggs develop into small tadpoles, which hatch after six to seven days and fall into the water below. Red-eyed tree frog eggs exhibit phenotypic plasticity and will hatch earlier if a change in the environment, such as a predator or environmental change signals a danger to their survival. Dragonflies, fish, and water beetles prey on the tadpoles. The tadpoles remain in the water from three weeks to several months, until they metamorphose into frogs. Snakes, spiders, bats, and birds of the rainforest prey on this frog. The young frogs that survive the first few weeks after metamorphosis move into the undergrowth and security of plants near their natal pools, often into the hollows of tubular plants such as bromeliads. Young frogs prey on very small flies and other insects during the first months of their lives. The young mature after two years and begin mating at the age of 3–4 years. These tree frogs are known to live up to five years , depending on the health and conditions of their habitat .
They sometimes breed successfully in captivity if kept under adequate conditions in high-humidity vivaria , tropical plants such as ''Bromelia'' and other epiphyte plants, together with well-aerated water pools. Their captive habitat should have a light cycle with 11–12 hours of daylight and an average day temperature of 26–28 °C . Simulating a rainy season once a year in November/December will encourage reproduction.
FoodRed-eyed tree frogs are insectivores that eat crickets, moths, flies, and other insects.
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