A Red Eyed Tree Frog Photograhed During A Natureslens Photography Tour Of Costa Rica

Photographing the Spectacular Red-eyed Tree Frog

Article written by David Miles illustrated with images contributed by Ian Roberts.

As visitors to Costa Rica have come to expect, the wildlife of this Central American country is vibrant & awe-inspiring; the majestic birds, the playful monkeys, & the slithering snakes. Yet nothing stops a photographer in their tracks like the sight of a (Agalychnis callidryas). This creature, an amphibian native to the rainforests of , is a symbol of the beauty of nature.

The Spectacular Red Eyed Tree Frog On A Vine Photographed During A Natureslens Wildlife Photography In Costa Rica Pichi

What is unique about the Red-eyed Tree Frog?

With striking colours, inventive camouflage abilities & fascinating behaviour, the is an amphibian that is truly admired. The most remarkable feature of the is its bright colours. This amphibian has a bright green back, often adorned with black spots, that serves as camouflage in dense foliage. However, the boldest colour seen on this frog is its signature red eyes. It is believed that the red-eyed tree frogs evolved this feature as a warning sign to predators – when disturbed, the colouring is meant to act as a deterrent.

The Spectacular Red Eyed Tree Frog Perched On A Heliconia Photographed During A Natureslens Wildlife Photography In Costa Rica Pichi

What is the Red-eyed Tree Frog's habitat?

The Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is a frog native to Central America & parts of northern South America. The red-eyed tree frog habitat is typically a humid tropical environment such as Caribbean rainforests & cloud forests, this brightly coloured amphibian species is often seen perched on the underside of large broad-leafed plants near ponds, streams, & wetlands.

The Spectacular Red Eyed Tree Frog On A Heliconia Photographed During A Natureslens Wildlife Photography In Costa Rica Pichi

The Red-eyed Tree Frog is most well-known for its striking red eyes, framed by a bright emerald green body & beautiful blue-tipped toe pads. These particular frogs are believed to have evolved these bright colours as natural camouflage, helping them blend into the mottled foliage they often inhabit.

Though they can remain motionless for long periods, they are highly active at night when they come down to the ground to feed on crickets, flies, moths, & many other insects. By day they will climb back up the plants to rest & avoid predators, often found in groupings of up to four individuals.

What does the Red-eyed Tree Frog eat?

The red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) sustains itself on a varied & plentiful diet. These frogs feast on insects, such as spiders, beetles, moths & caterpillars, & other small invertebrates, such as snails, crickets & worms.

The red-eyed tree frog's diet can include more oversized prey items, such as small, unsuspecting lizards or other frogs. They even have been known to indulge in the occasional fruit or flower! This diverse & abundant menu allows them to thrive in their lush jungle environment.

Is the Red-eyed Tree Frog endangered?

The red-eyed tree frog is arguably one of nature's most beautiful creations. Its bright yellow-green body, deep red eyes, & orange & blue markings make it a unique & captivating sight. However, underneath the beauty of this amphibian lies a matter of concern— its endangered status.

The Spectacular Red Eyed Tree Frog At The Top Of A Heliconia Photographed During A Natureslens Wildlife Photography In Costa Rica Pichi

The red-eyed tree frog is found in tropical rainforests along , particularly in Nicaragua & Honduras. Sadly, due to rapid deforestation in these areas, the population of these frogs has decreased significantly in recent years. Moreover, the red-eyed tree frog faces threats from rapidly changing climate conditions, which can cause extreme weather that affects their habitats negatively.

Is the red-eyed tree frog poisonous?

The good news is that red-eyed tree frogs are not poisonous or venomous. Arboreal species primarily rely on camouflage to hide from predators. This beautiful pattern serves to help them blend into the rainforest canopy, making them much less visible to hungry eyes.

Interestingly, while they may not be poisonous, these frogs still secrete a mild toxin from their skin to deter predators. This mucus is harmless to humans but can cause discomfort to potential predators like birds, lizards & snakes. This mucus's primary toxin is called a Batrachotoxin, which is poorly understood but thought to impair specific neuron functioning.

The red-eyed tree frog is remarkably resilient & can tolerate various environmental conditions. This strength is likely due to their bright colouration & toxin-releasing mechanism. The red-eyed tree frog's bright green, yellow & orange colouration doesn't denote poison – but still offers the species an effective defence against predators.

Where can you photograph the Red-eyed Tree Frog?

Fortunately, the Red-eyed Tree Frog can be found across various tropical habitats in Latin America & parts of . With some research, you can locate the best spots to see & photograph these frogs. Those lucky enough to glimpse the red-eyed tree frogs often find themselves in the middle of an incredible wildlife experience.

The Spectacular Red Eyed Tree Frog Posed On A Vine Photographed During A Natureslens Wildlife Photography In Costa Rica Pichi

Which Photography Tours Does NaturesLens Schedule for Photographing the Red-eyed Tree Frog?

NaturesLens offers a range of Costa Rican Wildlife photography holidays designed to allow photographers of all levels to add images of this spectacular species to their portfolio. These trips generally are conducted in November & December when the is most active.

Our photography holidays allow photographers to capture stunning images of the Red-eyed Tree Frog & many other Costa Rican species; during our trips, photographers can photograph various other wildlife, including Collared Aracari, Glass Frogs, Green Iguanas, Keel-Billed Toucans, King Vultures, Basilisks, Resplendent Quetzal, Hummingbirds, Sloth, Yellow-throated Toucan & more.

At NaturesLens, we aim to provide photographers with an unforgettable experience that will leave them with beautiful, memorable images. Our trips are led by experienced wildlife photographers passionate about wildlife photography & are dedicated to helping photographers capture the best images possible.

About the images used in this article

All the images displayed above were taken by , who has kindly allowed us to use them. Ian joined us in in November 2022 for two weeks; during this time, he captured many hundreds of high-quality images of the wildlife of this fascinating Central American country.

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