Wild Fact #596 – Quite a Mouthful! – Cuban Tree Frog

Photo from Wikimedia

How about that?!? We made it to another Friday Wild Fact.  I thought today might be a good day to learn about the largest tree frog in North America.  By now you have read the title so you know I am referring to the Cuban Tree Frog.  Can you guess where these frogs are located?  Yep, you are right, believe it or not the Cuban Tree Frog can be found scattered throughout the Caribbean and have also established populations in southern Florida and Hawaii.  I guess calling it the Caribbean-Southern Florida-Hawaii Tree Frog was just too complicated.

As mentioned, these tree frogs are indeed the largest you will find in North America.  So just how big do they get?  You know I am just dying to share that information with you so here it is.  The Cuban Tree Frog can grow up to 14 cm (5.5″) long, which may not sound very big but you have to remember that they are a tree frog! I think it would be pretty impressive to see a 6 inch frog hanging from a tree branch.

Photo from Wikimedia

Of course if you want to see these giant tree frogs then you better get some extra batteries for your flashlight, since they are nocturnal.  Luckily, they like to feed around sources of artificial light, so if you sit still long enough, maybe they will come to you.  So what type of prey are they looking for in these lighted areas?  Well, if they can fit it into their mouth then they will try eating it.  In fact, I believe I saw a picture floating around the web that showed a Cuban Tree Frog that had just eaten a Christmas light (it was interesting since the frog was lit up like a …..well, like a Christmas Tree).

Not only will they eat anything in sight but this particular tree frog will mate all year long.  These two qualities makes it a major problem if they are introduced into a new community.  They will usually out compete the native frogs and as a result alter that particular ecosystem.  This is probably why they are destroyed immediately after being found in a new area.  It seems like animals are either becoming endangered or tend to be an invasive species.  I wonder if there is a link between the two?

And that my friends is the end of another thrilling week of Wild Facts.  Have a great weekend and I will see you bright and early Monday morning.

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