Red-Eyed Tree Frogs

red eyed tree frog

The bulging scarlet eyes of the Red-eyed tree frog evolved as part of a defense trait to frighten its would-be predators. Most colorful frogs do use their colors for defenses. The Red-eyed Tree Frog is a nocturnal carnivore, meaning it is active at night. During the day, it sleeps and has its eyes covered, its green body color blending nicely with tree leaves.

When disturbed, it opens its huge red eyes and flashes its blue and yellow side body and leg colors. This defense technique is called startle coloration and together with the red eyes could shock the predator for a split second or two Ė just enough time for the frog to leap to safety.

This tree dwelling red eyed tree frog (agalychnis calidryas) is a vividly colorful species living in the lowlands of the Amazon rainforests of South and Central America near river inlets and lakes. They have has been spotted in the southern jungles of Mexico as well.

You can recognize one from its unique bulging eyes with a deep red intensity, hence the name. Its red eyes contrast quite dramatically with its neon green body that grows only 2Ē in length for the male of the specials, and up to 3Ē for the female. But despites its conspicuous coloration, itís not poisonous like other colorful frogs. Its tree-loving habitat gives it another name: the monkey frog. So donít get confused; they refer to the same frog.

Red-eyed frogs are not at all endangered. But their natural habitat is. Their wonderful colors make them a delightful photogenic mascot to attract support in conserving much of the worldís remaining rain forests. While those efforts may have had some luck, their exposure to the world audience has endeared them to amphibious pet lovers.

Rather cute and strikingly beautiful with its deep neon green body and huge bulging red eyes, the red-eyed tree frog makes a fascinating addition to your frog collection at home. Itís another of those wonderful decorative terrariums that make great conversation pieces during a gathering of friends and family.


The red-eyed frogs are not anywhere on the top of the animal food chain. Birds, bats, lizards and snakes like them for lunch or dinner. And so do larger frogs. So it may not be a good idea to mix and match with your other larger pets in the same habitat.


Mating season starts on October through March, where you can see the male species on a courting frenzy for a mate. They croak a lot and the croak quivers with musical qualities. Once a male starts it, the rest in the community breaks into cacophonous arpeggio. Be sure to turn off your stereo when they do so as not to compete with their singing.

In the wilds, several males will attempt to mount a female in a reproduction process scientifically termed amplexus. Thatís a rather common mating pattern among frogs. The sturdy female doesnít mind carrying the many males on her back and when ready to lay her eggs on what is called a clutch, at least one male will inseminate the clutch thatís usually laid on underside of a leaf overlooking a lake or pond.

That is not the end of it though. The female red-eyed frog will jump into the pond nearby to refill her bladder for the next clutch. And she does this still with the males at her back. Needless to say they do try to knock each other of, when the female jumps out of the pond, there could be a new male at her back ready to fertilize a clutch.

Once the tadpoles are old enough, they free themselves from the egg clutch and swim into the waiting water below. That should give you an idea how to position the tree branch and their leaves relative to the water in your terrarium. Once in the water, these tadpoles develop into brownish froglettes with a tail over the next 80days. After a few more days, they lose the tail and develop their distinct coloration.