Cuban Tree Frog camouflaged on slab rock with bulging golden eyes Frog camouflaged on slab rock with bulging golden eyesFrog camouflaged on slab rock with bulging golden eyes
Cuban Tree Frog

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Cuban tree frog
Hylidae (tree frogs)
Genus Species
Osteopilus septentrionalis

Fast Facts

Cuban tree frogs are the largest tree frog species in North America. They vary in color from dark green to pale gray, often changing color to match their environment. Cuban tree frogs may have spots that sometimes disappear, depending on the environment. Their feet have sticky pads on the toes that allow them to cling to many different surfaces.
Female: Females tend to grow larger than males.
Male: 5.1 to 6.3 cm (2.04 to 2.5 in.)
Female: Approximately 12.7 cm (5.08 in.)
Approximately 57 g (2 oz.)
Approximately 57 g (2 oz.)
Clutch Size: Females lay about 3,000 eggs in two long strings in shallow pools, ditches, and ponds.
Larval Duration: The tadpole stage is about 30 to 60 days.
Sexual Maturity
5 to 7 years
Life Span
Approximately 5 to 10 years
Native to Cuba and nearby islands; introduced throughout the Caribbean and into southern Florida
They are found only where temperatures fall no lower than 10°C (50°F), with daytime temperatures between 23° to 29°C (73° to 84°F). They prefer areas of high humidity, commonly occurring in trees and very large plants along waterways.
Global: Unknown
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

  1. These frogs are notorious for eating other frogs. Collectors of the species have found that if there are other species of frogs in the same tank, Cuban tree frogs have been known to feast on their neighbors.
  2. When a frog swallows a meal, its bulgy eyeballs close and sink into its head. The eyeballs apply pressure and actually push a frog's meal down its throat.
  3. Contrary to popular belief, humans get warts from human viruses, not from frogs and toads! Frogs and toads have various glands, which secrete poisons for protection. These secretions can cause skin irritations and may be poisonous to some species of animals.
  4. In general, frogs have smooth skin while toads have textured skin.
  5. A group of frogs is called an 'army;' a group of toads is called a 'knot.'
  6. Frogs with long tongues go by the "see it, snap at it" technique of feeding. If it is small and moves, it is perceived as prey.

Ecology and Conservation

Like all amphibians, Cuban tree frogs have porous skin and respond quickly to changes in the environment. The health of their populations can be an indicator of the health of the environment. Major threats include habitat loss, resource exploitation, environmental contaminants, disease and parasitism, introduced species, and global climate change.

This species has been widely introduced throughout the Caribbean and into southern Florida, and appears to have a negative impact on the ecosystem. In the areas of introduction, native tree frog populations have declined, probably due to predation and competition for resources.

Cuban tree frogs appear to be doing especially well in residential areas, and are spreading very rapidly throughout the Caribbean. This does not bode well for native species of tree frog, which aren't able to compete with the larger Cuban species.


Conant, Roger, and J.T. Collins. Peterson Field Guides: Reptiles and Amphibians. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1958.

Flank, Lenny Jr. Herp Help. New York: Howell Book House, 1998.

Mattison, Chris. Frogs and Toads of the World. New York: Fact On File Publications, 1987.