Red-eyed Tree Frog

(Agalychnis callidryas)


Red-eyed Tree Frog IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

It is a medium-sized tree frog, ranging from 5 cm to 7.5 cm. it is arboreal and completely nocturnal. The most apparent physical feature is their red eyes. The dorsal side and legs are usually bright lime green, and the sides of their body are striped in blue and yellow. They also have bright orange feet with large toepads that they use to climb with. The inside of the legs is blue.


The breeding season is from October through March, during the rainy season as it is for most other frogs. The musical mating ritual of the red-eyed tree frog is begun by the loud croaking of one male, who is quickly joined by other ones in the area, all sharing the common goal of attracting females. This loud croaking continues as A. callidryas males jump from one leaf to another in a crazed attempt to establish territory. When the loud croaking is at its climax, quivering occurs: Male A. callidryas inflate their vocal cavities and rise on all fours in an attempt to attract females and deter other males from entering their territory. During this process, at least two males face each other and quiver, their bodies violently shaking. This quivering ritual establishes territory and demonstrates strength and intimidation. During this process, when sparked by even the smallest movement, they may wrestle with other males, and sometimes many climb on top of one another.


The male will amplex with the female prior to egg laying. If the female is not ready she will try to dislodge the male. Sometimes they will remain in amplexus for days. When she is ready to lay, the female (with male in amplexus) will descend to the water and take water into her bladder. Then she will climb up to a leaf hanging above a water source and lay a mass of eggs (approximately 20-50). This can be repeated 3 to 4 times. When the females enter the water, it's sort of like entering a war zone for the male, who is still attached to her back, because if other males see the couple, they may try to fight the male off of the female and take his place. If they succeed, they also get the chance to fertilize some eggs. The tadpoles hatch in about 7 days and slide into the water, where they metamorphose into tree frogs after 75-80 days.

Did you know?
The species name callidryas is derived from the greek words kallos, meaning beautiful, and dryas meaning tree nymph hence the ever appropriate name: the beautiful tree nymph.There is a theory that the spectacular red eyes – in addition to the other bright markings - were developed as a startling mechanism, which the frog uses to ward of any predators that may come upon it during the day. If they are disturbed by a predator, they open their startling red eyes and this in combination with the other flash colours that are only visible when the frog is moving, is able to create a slight amount of time to leap away and this could be just enough for its survival. Since Agalychnis callidryas are not toxic, they rely otherwise heavily on camouflage and discretion to avoid predation in the wild.


Name (Scientific) Agalychnis callidryas
Name (English) Red-eyed Tree Frog
Name (French) Grenouille aux yeux rouges
Name (German) Rotaugenlaubfrosch
Name (Spanish) Rana de ojos rojos
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
© Gerald Dick



Range Belize; Colombia; Costa Rica; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama
Habitat It lives in tropical lowland and montane forest, where there is a continuous forest cover from sea level up to 1'250 m. It does also well in areas where there has been selective logging. The presence of temporary or permanent ponds is important.
Wild population Generally considered as an abundant species. The species is threatened by habitat loss by the complete destruction of natural forests. The population trend is decreasing (Red List IUCN 2012)
Zoo population 351 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Red-eyed Tree Frog


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 45 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
© Gerald Dick

Why do zoos keep this animal

Neotropical frogs are threatened by habitat distruction, disease and other factors. Zoos and aquariums keeping these species want to build up reserve populations and to raise awareness of the global amphibian crisis. Due to its red eyes and the bright colours of its skin, Agalychnis callidryas is particularly suitable for this purpose. Several zoos have also linked their ex situ activities with involvement in in situ conservation.