Sunday, March 27, 2011

Canyon Tree Frog

Taking a break from the plant series, I took a hike at the wonderful Redington Pass several weeks ago with my visiting family. One never knows what they'll find on their adventures and the hike proved just as interesting.  Here, with the camera, I got some great close up shots on a fantastic little frog in our canyons. This week's close up is on the beautiful and less travelled Redington Pass.

You'll find these little guys along the creeks that run through our Tucson area.  Be careful where you step and look carefully as they blend in with their surroundings.
This is a small treefrog with highly variable pattern and color. It grows to 2½ inches (56 mm) with a ground color of cream to brown and irregular bars, blotches, and spots of olive to brown. Its color matches its substrate extremely well. Large adhesive toe pads are present on all 4 feet. Adult males have dusky (darkened) or yellow throats, whereas females have white to cream colored throats (which match the underside).

This species is largely restricted to riparian areas in rocky canyons. It is typically found along streams among medium to large boulders from desert to desert grassland and into oak-pine forests. The canyon treefrog can operate at cooler temperatures than many frogs; it avoids cold surface temperatures by retreating underground

The canyon treefrog eats insects of various kinds. It breeds in July and August during summer rains as well as in spring. The abrupt, explosive call of males attracts females to breeding sites; males then mount females and spawning may begin. Eggs are laid in a large mass that floats on the surface of the water.

Source for information: The Desert Museum


  1. Never heard of this frog. Loved the photos, seeing such variation is nice.! We have 11 species of frogs and toads in our pond.


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