tree frogs

Cuban tree frog

The Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) is the largest species of tree frog in North America, native to Cuba and neighboring Caribbean islands. It has become increasingly numerous in central to southern Florida, where it was accidentally introduced and is considered an invasive species.

Description

The Cuban tree frog ranges in 1.5 to 5.5 inches in length and is anywhere from a gray, light brown, to pale green in color. They also have the ability to switch between these color variations depending on their environment but they usually retain a mottled pattern (slightly spotted) with some banding on their legs. Some also have yellow coloring tucked around their leg areas. Males are smaller than females, and have darker throats and nuptial pads in the breeding seasons.

Diet

The Cuban tree frog is infamous for its huge appetite. Their diet includes almost anything they can overpower, which fits into their mouth, including: insects, other frogs (even frogs of their own species), snakes, lizards, and young birds.

Conservation concerns

The Cuban tree frog is considered to be an invasive species in the continental United States, consuming native frogs and lizards and posing a threat to the biodiversity of the areas into which it spreads. It has spread as far as southern Georgia as of 2004 . It hitchhikes on vehicles or relocated soil and plants. The native green and squirrel tree frogs are rapidly disappearing due to its presence. They are also believed to cause power outages by sitting on transformers on electrical poles.

In captivity

Cuban tree frogs are commonly available in the pet trade. They are inexpensive, and when cared for properly tend to live 5-10 years. They feed readily on commercially available crickets.

References

  • http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/10/21/tech/main650682.shtml
  • Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Animal Bytes: Cuban Tree Frog

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