By Cheryl Conley
I looked across my living room the other day and noticed a green glob on the wall. I try to keep a fairly clean house so I was a little surprised to see this and wondered what the heck it was. I walked over for a closer look and realized it was a green tree frog! Now how did this little guy get in my house? I guess it doesn’t matter—I just had to get it out. Success. He’s now outside where he belongs.
American tree frogs can be found around just about any body of water from Delaware to Florida, in the Gulf states, in Arkansas, eastern Texas, western Tennessee and Kentucky and parts of southern Illinois and Missouri. In Texas, their range is relatively small. They reside east of the I-35 corridor throughout the piney woods and coastal prairies ecoregions.
The most interesting thing about the American green tree frog is that they can change color. When it’s resting and is cool, the frog will be gray in color. Once it warms up and is active, it turns vivid green.
Male tree frogs are noisy little things. During mating season, March to October, they produce a nasal honk or bark which they repeat up to 75 times per minute. Their mating call is distinct from their other calls and is used to defend their territory or to announce rainfall. Rainfall is especially important to them since breeding takes place after a rain. After a male fertilizes a female’s eggs, she deposits the clutch in shallow water among aquatic plants. Depending on the area of the country, a clutch can be from 700 eggs to 2100! The eggs hatch in about a week and the tadpoles turn into frogs in about a month. When full-grown, they’ll only be about two and a half inches long.
Tree frogs have interesting feet. They have sucker-like adhesive disks on the end of their fingers and toes which they need to aid in climbing and clinging to grasses and floating vegetation.
Their diet consists of mosquitoes, flies, crickets, moths and other small insects.
Tree frogs live in groups called an army or chorus. They are largely nocturnal and breathe through their skin.