Hyla cinerea Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
The treefrogs (family Hylidae) are the archetypal tropical frogs, used by artists and illustrators the world over to represent the tropics. A new study of the evolutionary relationships of amphibians by biologists at the American Museum of Natural History shows that treefrogs are relatively primitive, located closer to the ancestral base than other amphibian groups.
Treefrogs have adhesive discs on their toes that enable them to cling to and climb among leaves and branches. These adhesive toe pads even allow them to cling to glass, and in summer you often see green tree frogs and squirrel tree frogs on the outside of windows eating insects attracted to the light.
Many tree frogs can change color like a chameleon, and green treefrogs are dark olive-brown or charcoal colored when they are stressed or cold, but become bright green at other times. They can also be dull green or gray when hidden or sleeping. They are about 5.7 cm (2.2 inches) long and can be recognized by the creamy white stripe that extends down both sides of the body.
Male green tree frogs typically call while perched on vegetation near water. Their call is a scratchy ‘quonk-quonk-quonk’, often heard during rainstorms.
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