Facts about the common tree frog.
The common tree frog (Polypedates leucomystax) usually makes its way into homes amongst stones and bushes in landscaped gardens. They can be found taking refuge in unlikely places inside houses like window panes, behind wall clocks, and in nooks and crannies of the house where it is cool and dark. They lie motionless but would suddenly spring about once disturbed and land firmly on almost any surface. The round tipped, suction cups enable the tree frogs to stay fixed on whatever they land on.
The reason why the common tree frogs intrude into homes is actually a work of nature. In reality, it’s the other way. Humans are the ones intruding into their habitat. They live in grasslands and wetlands that dry up during hot, summer days. These are also ideal flat places for humans to settle, after dumping in some gravel and sand to serve as base for erecting concrete structures.
The common tree frog is generally golden brown with bands of greenish brown stripes running oblique its arms and legs, and longitudinally along its body. Of course the frogs have the characteristic round-tipped fingers. The common tree frogs have black eyes that close by means of a brown lid. Next to the eyes posteriorly is the eardrum, made up of a membrane surrounded by a cartilage ring, that makes it appear like a second eye.
The common tree frogs could grow to eight centimeters long (measuring from tip of the head to the vent or anus. They have extensive webbing between toes indicating that they spend a significant part of their lives in water.
Fig. 1. The common tree frog.
The natural habitats of the common tree frogs include subtropical or tropical moist and dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist montanes, shrublands, seasonally wet or flooed lowland, rivers, grasslands, lakes and marshes, lagoons, farmlands and gardens.
In the Philippines, the tree frogs can be found in places that get inundated during wet months but dry the rest of the year. These places are dominated by growths of bangkal (Nauclea orientalis) and inyam (Antidesma ghaesembilla). Open spaces are grown with hagonoy (Chromolaena odorata) and cogon (Imperata cylindrica).
Reproduction and Population Distribution
The common tree frogs are known to breed all-year round. To attract their mates, the common tree frogs call is a widely-spaced quack. The females deposit 100-400 eggs in oval-shaped foam nests. The growing larvae are opportunistic predators (Yorke 1983).
Populations of the common tree frog can be found in southeast Asia as well as China, India, Japan, Nepal and North America.
Alcala, A. C., 1986. Guide to the Philippine Flora and Fauna. Quezon City: Natural Resources Management Center, Ministry of Natural Resources and University of the Philippines. 195 pp.
Herpwatch Philippines, 2009. Polypedates leucomystax. Retrieved on October 18, 2009 at http://www.herpwatch.org/species.shtml?species_id=402.
Yorke, C. (1983). “Survival of embryos and larvae of the frog Polypedates leucomystax in Malaysia.” Journal of Herpetology, 17 (3), 235-241.
©Patrick A. Regoniel 24 December 2010 Facts About the Common Tree Frog