Tree Frog, Cuban


Osteopilus septentrionalis   


Color is green, bronze or gray. Skin is “warty.” Toe pads are very
large. Size is 1½ -5½ inches. There is a skin fold that extends from the
eye backward above the eardrum. 

Family

Hylidae

Order

Anura

Class

Amphibia

Range

Cuba and introduced to south Florida; now found as far north as Jacksonville

Habitat

Damp and shady areas in trees, shrubs, or around houses

Life Expectancy

A wild caught adult survived another 12 years and 11 months in captivity.

Sexual Maturity

Probably very soon after hatching – 18 months or less.

Diet

In the wild, they consume insects, spiders, and other frogs. In the zoo they eat mealworms and pinky mice.

Status

IUCN - Least Concern

Behaviors

Breeding is done in the warmer months. The incubation period is 2 days. They can lay up to 130 eggs, which are laid in rain pools, temporary ponds or ditches.

Adaptions

The Cuban Treefrog has a sticky skin secretion that is toxic. It can easily adapt to living around homes, clinging to windows or glass doors. It can quickly change color to camouflage into an environment. Colors range from light gray or light green to pale brown. The toe pads are well developed for climbing. Mucous is secreted from the pads, which helps them cling to dry surfaces.

Special Interests

It is the largest treefrog in North America. This species was perhaps introduced into Key West on vegetable produce brought over from Cuba at the beginning of the century. Until the 1960’s their range was limited to the Keys and Dade County. Today, they have spread all the way to Jacksonville. Cuban treefrogs are an abundant food source for native aquatic snakes. The adult Cuban treefrog is larger than any other treefrog in Florida (large enough to eat other native treefrogs), and it has extra large toe pads. It has a variable but mottled pattern when compared to the more uniform and greener color of the native treefrogs. Cuban treefrog skin is usually wartier than the native treefrog’s skin.

Folklore

Frogs were thought to have the power to bring rain because of their association with the water.

Conservation

The Cuban Treefrog consumes other treefrogs and toads, which may have an effect on the native Florida species.

Jacksonville Zoo History

The first Cuban treefrog in the Zoo’s animal collection arrived in May 1974.

Exhibit

Wild Florida