Hourglass Tree Frog

Hourglass Tree Frog Dendropsophus ebreccatus

Type of Animal:

Forest, rainforest swamps, rainforest ponds, humid lowland areas, edge habitat, orchards, pastures, secondary vegetation, permanent/temporary pools

Ranges from S Mexico to NW Ecuador

Yellow dorsal area w/ golden-brown blotches forming hourglass-shaped pattern (10 different variants to this pattern), distinct uniform yellow to orange thighs, flat relatively wide head, large forelimbs in comparison to body, cream stripe on upper lip, pale yellow hands/flanks/feet, small frog

Adults eat insects. Tadpoles eat plant matter, algae, & dead tadpoles.

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, & herpetoculture

Usually found in small groups

Additional Info:

Young: Tadpole
Group: Army
Male: 0.1 oz
Female: 0.3 oz
2-7 days 

Life Span:
4-5 years in wild, 5-8 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 0.94-1.06 in
Female: 1.18-1.34 in
Young: 0.39 in

Main predators are snakes, fish, birds, procyonids, squirrels, felids, & monkeys.
Males make quiet “whee” calls to attract females.
Females deposit eggs in up to 8 masses, varying from 15-300 eggs. 2 types of eggs can be produced-aquatic egg typically attached to floating vegetation in water in clusters while arboreal eggs deposited in single layers on upper leaf surfaces overhanging water. Either way, tadpoles spend 1st part of life in water.
Tadpoles metamorphose into froglets at 1.5 months old, staying in that stage until reaching maturity at 6 months old.
Active at night (nocturnal).
Long hind limbs come in handy for jumping from tree to tree.
Adults are highly arboreal.
Tadpoles develop bright red tail colors in presence of predators.
Males use high-pitch calls for competition & make buzz-click sounds when attracting females.
Sometimes used for research purposes due to reproductive behavior.
Sometimes kept as pets but more of a “look don’t touch” pet.
Breed during wettest parts of year.

Fun Fact(s):
Named for hourglass-shaped pattern on backs. Another name Pantless Tree Frog refers to contrast of thighs w/ rest of body, making it appear that it’s not wearing pants. In fact, ebreccatus means “without trousers.”
These frogs known to wipe themselves w/ waxy lipid secretions from lipid glands in dorsal skin to reduce water loss.
Both egg types can accelerate development/hatching time in unfavorable conditions.
Hourglass tree frog, stock photo

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