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Cuban tree frog

Osteopilus septentrionalis


The Cuban tree frogs range in size from 3 to 5.5 inches (76 to 140 mm) in length. It is the largest tree frog in North America and has a rough warty skin. Their toepads are much larger than those of other tree frogs and they will often have an orange-tint to their eyes. Varying in color from, olive-brown, bronze, gray, or grayish-white. Cuban tree frogs can change colors depending on their temperature and environment. Many individuals have darker splotches on the back, and some splotchy banding on the legs. In many individuals, the hidden surfaces of the legs are bright yellow. When the frog leaps to avoid a predator, these bright yellow patches are visible, and may help to confuse the predator. Also, the skin on their heads is fused to the skull—if the head of an adult frog is rubbed (between the eyes), the skin does not move. This is a special adaptation that prevents water loss, since there are fewer blood vessels in the "co-ossified" (fused) area. When handled, Cuban tree frogs secrete a toxic mucus from their skin. In humans, this can cause an allergic reaction or burning sensation to the eyes and nose, and even trigger asthma.


This species was introduced to southern Florida from the Caribbean and has continued to spread in Florida. Cuban treefrogs have been documented as far north as Cedar Key on the Gulf Coast, Jacksonville on the Atlantic Coast, and the Orlando area in mid-Florida, and they are expanding their range.

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Spotted by

Florida, USA

Spotted on Oct 18, 2007
Submitted on Apr 24, 2012

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