Friday, March 5, 2010

Creature Feature - Cuban Treefrog

Here's the latest installment of Creature Feature (repeats on the first Friday of each month). Today we have a frog nestled inside the leaf of a Costus ginger.
I know he's cute, but this is one of the invasive Cuban treefrogs.  We Floridians are supposed to kill them because they are voracious carnivores and will eat large quantities of our native frogs, toads, lizards, and even small snakes.  Females can grow up to 6 inches in body length and can lay over 15,000 eggs in a single season.  
Cuban treefrog skin secretes a sticky substance that is irritating to the mucous membranes of the human eyes, nose, and mouth.  The burning and itching sensation can last for hours.
They also inhabit bird houses (keeping the birds away), clog plumbing pipes, and cause power outages when they try to seek shelter in electrical equipment!
Over the past few decades they have spread through most of the state of Florida and a few have been seen in South Georgia.

For more on Cuban tree frogs, the damage they do, how to identify them, and how to humanely kill them, see the following publications from:
Florida Wildlife Extension
University of Florida
Photo gallery and identification tips
To listen to the mating call of the Cuban treefrog, click HERE


The Rainforest Gardener said...

I have a very similar native gray treefrog nestled in my huge vriecantarea bromeliad... Before you kill the frog just make sure its note a gray treefrog! Grays have orange bellys and cubans are huge.

Kimberly said...

Yes, Jim, he IS cute...I have a hard time disliking frogs, even if they are invasive. One of my downfalls!

Floridagirl said...

I'm not sure I've ever seen this frog in my garden, but I'll be on the lookout. It's doubtful I could ever kill a frog, though.

Susan said...

I've got lots of these Cuban tree a matter of fact there is one in one of my birdhouses. I wonder if the cold weather has killed many off.

Darren said...

Where they introduced on purpose or accidently? It sounds like they can cause some major problems. I don't suppose they can live in Zone 8 South Carolina? Good thing


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