Flying Tree Frog

Category: Wildlife

Flying tree frogs live in the forests and tropical rainforests in parts of Asia, Africa, Central America and South America. Their diet mainly includes insects and small invertebrates. These amphibians do not actually fly, but they do glide.

Flying Tree Frog

Flying Tree Frog

Scientific & Common Names

There are 80 different types of flying tree frogs, some of which belong to the Old World genus Rhacophorus. Others belong to the New World genus Ecnomiohyla. Wallace’s tree frog is one of the most common species. Other species include the Malaysian flying frog and Everett’s flying frog. Flying tree frogs are sometimes called parachute frogs.

Characteristics

Many species of flying tree frogs are bright green in color, although there are some that are more brownish or copper. They all have toe pads that allow them to stick to surfaces, as well as webbed feet and extra skin on each side of their body. These characteristics help them glide up to 50 feet or more between tree branches to escape predators. Flying tree frogs vary in size, depending on species, but the average size is around 4 inches.

Breeding

Flying tree frogs climb down to the ground in order to breed. The female creates a bubble-like nest for her eggs, which the male fertilizes. The female then hangs her nest over water. Once tadpoles form inside the eggs, the nest breaks apart and the tadpoles drop into the water.

Behavior

Flying tree frogs spend most of their time in the trees, gliding from branch to branch. Their extra skin folds and webbed feet help them make long, smooth landings, while their toe pads let them grip branches when they land.

History

Flying tree frogs developed the features needed to fly over thousands of years. They are still found in large portions of their natural habitat, but these habitats are shrinking due to deforestation. Two new flying tree frog species, known as the vampire flying frog and Helen’s flying frog, have been discovered in Vietnam.

Present Status

Many flying tree frog species are listed as Least Concern due to abundant populations, while there is not enough data available to classify other species. The Vietnam flying frog is listed as Near Threatened, and the Mindanao flying frog is listed as Vulnerable due to declining populations. The main threat for flying tree frogs is habitat loss from logging and agriculture.

References

  1. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Rhacophorus_nigropalmatus/

  2. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/wallaces-flying-frog/

  3. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/01/130114-new-species-flying-frog-vietnam-science-animals-weird/

  4. http://australianmuseum.net.au/media/Vampire-Flying-Frog-Discovery

  5. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/58980/0