Agalychnis callidryas is found in the neotropical regions of southern Mexico, across Central America, as well as the northern regions of South America. ("Red-Eyed Tree Frog", 2015)
Primarily found in humid environments with abundant access to water (i.e. rainforests), red-eyed tree frogs are found close to ponds and other small bodies of fresh water. The presence of a permanent body of water is essential for the frog’s reproductive needs. In response to high heat or dry seasons, red-eyed tree frogs find shelter under broad leaves closer to the forest floor. Since they have difficulty preventing dehydration in heated environments –like all members of the genus Agalychnis – they are nocturnal. (Duellman, 1967; Leenders, 2001)
Agalychnis callidryas is relatively small (4 to 7 centimeters). Females tend to be larger than males. It displays distinctive bulging red eyes along with webbed orange feet. Additionally, its legs have symmetrical streaks of yellow and blue. The rest of its body is leaf green in color. Red-eyed tree frogs have smooth skin with almost no bumps. Young froglets of this species are able to change the color of their skin based on the time of day.
Tadpoles of A. callidryas are relatively large (4-5 centimeters). Their tail is long and narrow. The tadpole's skin is pale gray dorsally and blueish-gray on its sides. ("Red-Eyed Tree Frog", 2015; Whittaker, 2011)
Breeding for A. callidryas is synchronized with the rainy reason of the year. After eggs have been terrestrially laid at the edges of a pond or beneath a leaf, they get externally fertilized by the males. Roughly four to six days following this, they are capable of hatching. As tadpoles, they can only survive for up to 20 hours on land so they need to make their way to the water. In the water, they survive as mid-water suspension feeders for several weeks (it ranges vastly based on environmental conditions). Following this period, they undergo a metamorphosis phase in order to form into froglets, which eventually mature into adult frogs. (Duellman, 1967; Duellman, 2001; Valerio, 1971)
Red-eyed tree frogs mate seasonally (rain season is optimal). These frogs are polygynandrous in nature. Males tend to fight one another to have a chance at mating with a female. The croaking noise produced by the male is what helps get the attention of the female frog. Once mating ensues, the pair of frogs engage in amplexus, which is the process in which the male latches on to the female’s back. This process occurs on the underside of a leaf so that the eggs can become fertilized as they exit the female and adhere to the leaf (which is usually above a pond or small body of water). (Selbie and Shand-Perreault, 2008)
A. callidryas is known to breed only during the rainy season due to its eggs' required access to wet conditions. Its gestation period is around 45 days. The young mature in two years, but do not start mating for another two years. Male and female frogs engage in amplexus during mating. ("Red-Eyed Tree Frog [Agalychnis callidryas]", 2015; Duellman, 2001; Selbie and Shand-Perreault, 2008)
Agalychnis callidryas does not invest in any type of post-fertilization care. Following fertilization, the eggs are laid on the underside of a leaf or adjacent to a pond. The male and female frogs are not known to return to the site of the eggs. (Briggs, 2008)
While the average age in captivity for these frogs is 4.1 years, there have been reports suggesting the frog's lifespan to be over 8 years. In the wild, the average age of red-eyed tree frogs is 5 years. The main factors that cause mortality in these frogs are predation and amphibian-related diseases (e.g. Ranavirus, chytridiomycosis). ("AnAge entry for Agalychnis callidryas", 2014; Selbie and Shand-Perreault, 2008; Stark, et al., 2014)
While these frogs have been seen to co-exist in groups, information has not been reported regarding the social hierarchy and its associated behavioral cues. Red-eye tree frogs are widely distributed throughout Central and South America, but have not be shown to migrate extensively. It is primarily active at night (nocturnal). (Selbie and Shand-Perreault, 2008; Whittaker, 2007; Whittaker, 2011)
Red-eyed tree frogs begin perceiving information from their environment even before they hatch. They use cues such as vibrations from the outside of their egg environment to determine whether or not they should delay their hatching time (mostly based upon predation). As a post-metamorphosis frog, A. callidryas can communicate in a number of ways. For instance, it can shock its predators momentarily by flashing them its bright red eyes during the night time (a visual cue). While communicating with other members of its species, these frogs tend to shake tree branches in order to send vibrations. In order to mate, the male A. callidryas croaks very distinctively in order to attract a suitable female. ("Red-Eyed Tree Frog", 2015; Leenders, 2001; Warkentin, 1999)
Red-eyed tree frogs are considered to be nocturnal carnivores. Their primary diet consists of insects, which they tend to capture during the night time. They have been known to eat one another during their tadpole stage of life. Insects that the A. callidryas likes to eat include flies (Diptera), grasshoppers (Caelifera), and mosquitoes (Culicidae). (Alliance, 2015)
Depending on the stage of life that an A. callidryas is in, the predators it faces will vary. As an embryo, the frog faces predation from several types of polybid wasps and snakes. As a result of this, the time in which these embryos hatch can actually vary according to the level of predation it faces (there is an inverse correlation between hatching time and level of predation). As a tadpole, A. callidryas can be predated on by shrimp and large fish in their environments. As a froglet and adult frog, A. callidryas can be predated on by aquatic spiders, snakes, birds, and bats.
The skin of these red-eyed tree frogs contains several different poisonous, biologically active peptides that serve to repel predators. (Leenders, 2001; "Red-Eyed Tree Frog", 2015; Warkentin, 1999)
Populations of small organisms such as insects and small frogs are kept from becoming over-populated by A. callidryas. No information was reported regarding any symbiotic relationships associated with this species. (Selbie and Shand-Perreault, 2008)
Red-eyed tree frogs provide two main benefits for humans and the environment. First, they are very popular as household pets and thus provide monetary benefits for those who are involved in pet trade. Additionally, their increased susceptibility to environmental toxins, like other species of the class Amphibia, makes them great candidates to study early effects of pollution and other environmental changes. (Ghose, et al., 2014; Rearick, 2015)
There are no known adverse effects of red-eyed tree frogs on humans.
While there is currently no status marking red-eyed tree frogs as endangered, their populations have been decreasing at an alarmingly fast rate (hence the “Appendix II” ranking under CITES). The main reason for this rapid decrease is high rates of deforestation. Conservation efforts are being made in certain parks throughout their range to maintain their non-endangered status. (Solís, et al., 2008)
Red-eyed tree frogs change the color of their skin (from leaf-green to red-brown) based on their mood. ("Red-Eyed Tree Frog", 2015)
Amit Manjunath (author), The College of New Jersey, Matthew Wund (editor), The College of New Jersey.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
having coloration that serves a protective function for the animal, usually used to refer to animals with colors that warn predators of their toxicity. For example: animals with bright red or yellow coloration are often toxic or distasteful.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
to jointly display, usually with sounds, at the same time as two or more other individuals of the same or different species
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
a substantial delay (longer than the minimum time required for sperm to travel to the egg) takes place between copulation and fertilization, used to describe female sperm storage.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
Animals with indeterminate growth continue to grow throughout their lives.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
specialized for leaping or bounding locomotion; jumps or hops.
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
uses sight to communicate
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