Species Spotlight - Red Eyed Tree Frog

The Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is commonly known as the “monkey frog” for its jumping abilities.  It is a relatively small amphibian, measuring no more than eight centimeters. The male is usually about two and a half centimeters smaller than the female. A colourful amphibian, it is most recognizable by its bright green color and red eyes. Its other markings include blue and cream coloring around the groin and rib areas as well as its orange feet. However, this color pattern is developed with age; the younger Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are mostly brown. Their lifespan in the wild is usually around five years. Red-Eyed Tree Frogs have many characteristics to accompany their climbing habits. Their long limbs allow them to climb and swim with agility as do the sucker pads on the bottom of each digit. The skin on their stomachs is a lot thinner than the skin found on their backs which is more resistant and thick. They have long sticky tongues to help them latch onto their prey for an easier hunt.

Endangerment Status

The Red-Eyed Tree Frog is not endangered, however the rainforest habitat is shrinking due to a mixture of deforestation, and environmental issues.

The Red-Eyed Tree Frog can be found in the rainforests of Central and South America. They are a mainly arboreal amphibian which means that they are “tree dwelling” frogs. However, as tadpoles, they are found in the water and only with age do they migrate to the trees. They are a nocturnal amphibian and sleep during the day.

Their diet is carnivorous consisting of everything that fits into their mouths such as moths, flies, crickets and sometimes even small frogs. Young frogs commonly eat fruit flies and pinhead crickets.  Since Red-Eyed Tree Frogs are not venomous, they use their bright colors as a defence mechanism to stun their predators (startle coloration).  Seeing as their predators use vision to hunt, once their eyes latch onto their prey, they are often startled by the shockingly bright colors which caused a “ghost image” to be left where the Red-Eyed Tree Frog was originally. This allows the tree frog to make an escape.

Their predators commonly consist of Bats, Snakes, Birds, Owls, Tarantulas, and small Alligators.

Join us as we travel to Ecuador and Costa Rica. Here you will be able to photograph these species, and others on our workshops.




Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: www.kevinpepperphotography.com