Friday, November 20, 2009

Froggy Bottom

We experienced a little problem when trying to use the watering can the other night - it appears someone had taken up residence in the spout.
This froggy little fellow is most likely a Cuban Treefrog. Two identifying features are the large "toepads" and the bumpy skin. As the name might indicate, it comes from Cuba as well as the Bahamas and Cayman Islands. Like so many introduced species, the Cuban Treefrog is considered invasive in Florda. It feeds on a variety of creatures, including native treefrogs and other Cuban treefrogs (cannibal frogs!).

In a true Florida-Friendly Yard, it's best to eradicate invasive species when you find them. If we'd realized this was a Cuban Treefrog when we first found it, we could have eliminated it from the environment permanently. In other words, we should have killed the little bugger. The University of Florida IFAS Extension provides instructions for doing this humanely (it involves your freezer). It's hard for a wildlife lover to extinquish any kind of life (here we go with the euphemisms again), but it takes hard choices to help protect the environment and ecosystem.

Fortunately, the IFAS Extension also provides some easy instructions on how to make Treefrog Houses to lure native treefrogs to your yard. It's as simple as driving a piece of PVC pipe into the ground in a nice place among some plants or trees. The treefrog house, like a toad house, provides a shady place for treefrogs to hide out during the day, where they can be protected from predators such as stray cats. We plan to install some of these in My Florida Backyard very soon - we'll post pictures when we do.

1 comment:

  1. I hope I don't seem rude, but that's not a Cuban tree frog. Cubans are generally a pale green, with little to no markings. They can also grow up to three inches in circumference. (that's huge for a frog)

    This little guy is a greenhouse frog, which are still invasive, but I believe They're less of a threat. :)