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Living Sanibel

By Staff | Jun 10, 2010

Greenhouse frogs

Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris planirostris) Other names: none / Status: FL=invasive, IUCN=NE / Life span: to five years / Length 1-1.25 inches (2.5-3 cm) / Weight: n/a / Reproduces: on the islands / Found: interior wetlands, urban areas.

The greenhouse frog is another exotic, originally from the Caribbean and Cuba. Because it is even smaller than the native green and squirrel treefrogs, it does not appear to have anywhere near the negative impact of the Cuban treefrog. In fact, the greenhouse frog has also suffered from heavy predation by the Cuban treefrog.

It’s really been a good frog season since we have such a wet spring. You can look for them everywhere right now.

This very small frog is unusual in that it skips the tadpole stage of development common with most amphibians. The female lays her eggs in rotting vegetation or under moist debris rather than in water. From those eggs come miniature, fully developed baby frogs. This is known as „direct development‰ and is extremely rare.

The greenhouse frog is not a treefrog and therefore is not equipped to climb on glass, plastic siding, or other slick surfaces. It stays in lawns, shrubs, and trees and feeds on a wide variety of small insects. It in turn is eaten by snakes, Cuban treefrogs, larger lizards, and rats.