Cuban Tree Frog
While they are native to Cuba, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands, they have been introduced in Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, The Lesser Antilles, Hawaii and the southeastern US from the Florida Keys to South Carolina. They are thought to have been brought into these areas in shipments of ornamental plants, vegetables, and on cars and boats. They can survive in brackish water, which may help them spread between islands. They are so invasive that Hawaii has banned them as pets the FL fish and wildlife department recommends that any frogs that are found should be euthanized.
The Cuban tree frog is the largest tree frog in North America measuring 3” - 5.5”. The male is typically smaller than the female. It has rough, warty skin and ranges in color from olive green, to brown or even grayish white. The inside of it’s legs are often a bright yellow. This is thought to distract or confuse predators. They have unusually large sticky toe pads that help them to climb up into the trees where they sleep throughout the day. They are most active at night and are attracted by porch lights where they can find lots of insects to eat.
One reason for their success in expanding their range is their diet. They are carnivorous and will eat virtually anything they can fit into their large mouths including insects, snails, small mammals, young birds, spiders, and other frogs. They will even eat one another if they are hungry. Because of their varied diet, they can find food
just about anywhere, and they have a very negative impact on native wildlife species, especially other frogs with whom they compete for food and who they will gladly eat, given the opportunity.
Another reason that they are so successful is their reproductive rate. They breed from May to October, during which time one female can lay up to 4,000 eggs in ponds,
lakes, puddles, or even swimming pools. The tadpoles hatch in only about a day and become frogs within 1 month.