5 Fun Facts: Red-Eyed Tree Frogs | Red Panda Books
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5 Fun Facts: Red-Eyed Tree Frogs

Published February 3rd, 2021 • ~3 minutes to read

Written by Joseph Keeler


The small amphibian pictured above is the red-eyed tree frog and has got to be one of the cutest frogs on the planet. Just look at it! 


This tree frog’s unbelievably bulging red eyes, brightly colored sides and legs, and dramatic orange feet make it seem like it jumped straight out of the computer game Frogger; they look so unreal! When the frogs are young they are actually a brown color. As they age they start to receive their coloring: becoming more green and blue.


The red-eyed tree frog’s home is in the tropical lowlands in Central America and northern South America. This little guy is located in southern Mexico and throughout the rainforests of Central America all the way to Colombia.


Like most frogs, the red-eyed tree frog is a nocturnal creature. This means they sleep during the day and are awake at night when the air is more humid. At night they are able to avoid predators more easily because their neon-bodies actually blind nocturnal predators; all they see is a ghost-like body and are tricked into thinking nothing is there.


They also have this incredible defense strategy called startle coloration. This tree frog sleeps stuck to the underside of leaves in the rain-forest canopy with their eyes closed and markings covered. When they sense a threat, they quickly open their large red eyes, reveal their huge orange feet and bright blue sides, which causes their prey to pause. Whether it’s a bird or snake, this brief pause gives enough time for the frog to spring away to safety. 

This rain-forest amphibian's diet is similar to all amphibians, they are carnivores. You may be thinking, "Carnivores?" Yup. Like other frogs, this dazzling tree frog eats insects like moths, crickets, and flies. And they have a long, sticky tongue to catch the unsuspecting bugs as they sit and wait up in the rain forest’s canopy.

Here are the 5 Fun Facts about the Red-Eyed Tree Frog:
  1. Their toes are tiny suction cups that allow them to “stick” to a surface, like Spider-man©!
  2. They are great at hiding! Even with their bright colors, especially those bright red eyes, they are able to stay hidden in the day by sleeping on the underside of leaves. Because of their suction cup feet, they are able to stay upside down for long periods of time.
  3. The frogs are really small. And when I say small, I mean it is small. Adult males are usually 1 to 1.5 inches long; females can get up to 2.5 inches. This fully-grown adult frog is smaller than an adult human thumb!
  4. The female lays her eggs at the base or undersides of leaves that are just inches above the water. That way when the eggs hatch, as soon as four to five days later, the tadpoles fall right into the water. 

If the little embryos sense the leaf vibrating (generally because of a predator), the embryos can hatch sooner than normal, like days sooner.  And some scientists think these embryos can hatch within seconds of sensing a threat! WOW!  Nature is so cool!

5. Though the red-eyed tree frog can swim, their long, skinny legs are actually for climbing! This combined, with their suction-cup toes, makes it much easier for them to climb than to swim.

What are your favorite facts about the red-eyed tree frog that you learned today? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

You can also find the beautiful Red-Eyed Tree Frogs in the exciting children’s adventure book: Captain Pabbu and the Buried Treasure. Yes, we love red-eyed tree frogs so much that we made them celebrities for you to find in our children’s picture book.  

Discover them doing crazy and fun things on every page. Here are a couple of examples:

Joseph Keeler's handwritten signature
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Red Panda Books sells personalized children’s adventure books that encourage parents to read with their children and experience adventures together! A portion of the books’ proceeds will be donated to support the Red Panda Network and other organizations that protect endangered species and their habitats.