Wildlife and Invasive Species Education (WISE) Species Profile: The Cuban Treefrog

Common Name: Cuban Treefrog

Status: Invasive Species

Scientific Name: Osteopilus septentrionalis

Identification: Like all of the treefrogs found in Florida, Cuban treefrogs have the ability to climb. This is possible due to the toepads and subarticular tubercles that each treefrog has. One way to identify a non-native Cuban tree frog from a native, is by observing and comparing the toepads of each species. Cuban treefrog toepads are considerably larger than native treefrog toepads. Size can also be a identifiable tool. However, juvenile Cuban treefrogs can be mistaken for natives, so make sure it is in fact the invasive species. It is much easier to make a identification on adults. It is safe to say if you see a treefrog that is 3″ or larger, it is most likely a Cuban treefrog. For more information on correctly identifying this species, please visit https://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/cuban_treefrog_inFL.shtml.

Description: Cuban treefrogs can range in size from 1″ to 6″long. They have large eyes, toepads, and warty-like skin. Along with the size, color can be variable as well. Cuban treefrogs can be seen in colors ranging from green to brown, and white to gray. Some specimens may also have stripes or blotches on their skin. Cuban treefrogs breed from March to October and can lay up to 1,000 eggs.

Diet: Cuban treefrogs are generalists, feeding on a variety of animals. They will actively hunt roaches, lizards, beetles, spiders, and other arthropods and invertebrates. Cuban treefrogs will also prey on other frogs. They have been observed eating several species of native treefrogs, toads, and even leopard frogs.

Interesting Facts:

  • The Cuban treefrog is native to Cuba, along with the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas.
  • Introduction was probably via cargo containers, in the late 1920’s.
  • Cuban treefrogs are the largest species of treefrog in Florida.

Photo Credits: Jim E. Davis

References: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/UW259






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Posted: December 28, 2021

Category: Invasive Species, Natural Resources, UF/IFAS Extension, Wildlife

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