The American Green Tree Frog
The American Green Tree Frog is well known for its ability to hang from almost anywhere. A common sight in the southern regions of the United States, this suction-cupped amphibian is a popular pet.
The green tree frog, also known as the tree toad, common tree frog and American Green Tree Frog, is a common name for a family of small to medium sized, brightly colored frogs that live in temperate and tropical areas throughout the world.
Popularly identified as the Tree Toad, green tree frogs are one of 550 species of frog in the family, Hylidae. This species is found around the world and is marked by small size and sucker-like adhesive feet, which are used for climbing and hanging vertically.
The skin of the green tree frog is smooth and ranges in color from bright to olive green. A white or yellow stripe extends along the sides of the frog's jaw to his thigh. Horizontal pupils make this frog easily distinguishable from other, similar featured tree frogs.
Large glands located on the back of the head give this tiny creature a hump-like appearance. Fingers and toes of the tree frog are unique to this species, in that they are unwebbed, allowing for the ability to climb and walk. This frog also has disc shaped suction-like cups on the bottom of his feet, which enable him to cling to windows, trees, plants and many other objects.
Long, slender legs and a sleek body are this frog's defining features. Legs of the tree frog are 1-1/2 times the length of its head and body, which help him to leap distances of 8-10 feet. Despite their amazing ability, green tree frogs prefer walking and climbing to jumping.
Male frogs are 2 1/2-3 inches in size and females range in size from 2-4 inches.
The diet of the tree frog consists mainly of insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, waxworms, mealworms, earthworms and moths.
The average lifespan of the American Green Tree Frog is 15-20 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
Green tree frogs emit noises which have been compared to that of cowbells, growls and chirps. From early May through August, when temperatures are at peak highs, male frogs leap into ritualistic evening choruses, with the hope of attracting a female. Breeding season almost always coincides with rainy, wet periods, and in many areas of the world, these frogs are considered reliable indicators of impending rain.
After the mating process has been completed, female frogs propel their eggs backward, where they stick to floating plant life. The female frog can lay one to several hundred eggs in one place. It takes only 2-3 days for the eggs to hatch and the larvae to emerge. At this early age, infant tree frogs are nothing more then a head and long muscular tail. The green tree frog's tadpole stage lasts 4-6 weeks, during which time internal and external growth patterns take over, and the tadpole metamorphizes into an adult. It takes one year for green tree frogs to reach sexual maturity.
Tree frogs are a seasonal species, clinging closely to swamps, riverbeds and lake areas in warm summer months and retreating to grass and woodlands by early autumn. The frog buries itself in decaying stumps of trees in winter months, and can also be found in the ground, where my frogs dig themselves a winter hole.
Unlike other species of tree frogs, which are near extinction, the American Green Tree Frog population continues to flourish. Frogs today live in moist areas, near sources of water, and are common sights in many parts of the United States and tropical areas.
Green frogs are also kept in captivity as pets and are a favorite among amphibian lovers. The American Green Tree Frog was recently named state amphibian of Louisiana.