The Red-eyed Tree Frog
As 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.
Specimen in cryptic water conservation posture
Red-eyed tree frogs in axillary amplexus
Red-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.
Red-eyed tree frogs are insectivorous that eat crickets, moths, flies, and other insects. For tadpoles, fruit flies and pinhead crickets are the meals of choice. They hunt only at night.
During 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. Some frogs communicate by croaking deep sounds for warnings and high sounds for mating. When rainfall is at its highest, a male red-eyed tree frog calls “chack” to get the attention of the female, which then carries him on her back around for up to several hours during the oviposition process. The female chooses a leaf above a pond or large puddle, and lays her clutch of eggs. The eggs develop into small tadpoles, which hatch after several days and fall into the water below. Dragonflies, fish, and water beetles prey on the tadpoles. They remain in the water from three weeks to several months, until they metamorphose, or develop into frogs. Snakes, spiders, bats, and birds of the rainforest are predators of this frog. After full metamorphosis weeks later, the juveniles that survive the first few weeks crawl back into the undergrowth and security of plants in the vicinity of these pools, often in the hollows of tubular plants like bromeliads. Juvenile specimens prey on very small flies and insects during the first months of their lives. The young mature after two years and begin mating at the age of 3–4 yr. These tree frogs are known to live as long as five years (data from captive breeding programs), depending on the health and conditions of their habitat (i.e. abundant plant growth, plenty of fresh water, and an abundance of small and larger insects on which to prey).
They are sometimes successfully bred in captivity if kept under adequate conditions in high-humidity vivaria (e.g. by using misting equipment), tropical plants such as Bromelia and otherepiphyte plants, together with well-aerated water pools. Their captive habitat should have an 11-12-hour light cycle and an average day temperature of 26 to 28°C (with night-time averages of 22-35°C). Simulating a rainy season once a year in November/December will encourage reproduction.
Red-eyed tree frogs are closely related to chorus frogs, which have the same body style and many of the same habits, though chorus frog are more vocal.