Canyon Tree Frog (Hyla arenicolor)

Canyon tree frog

Canyon tree frog Image by: Magnus Manske uploaded to Wikimedia commons via CC BY 2.0 No changes made


Canyon tree frogs are a smaller species of tree frog, measuring from 1.25 to 2.25 inches in length. Its coloring can be gray, tan, or olive, though the specific shade depends on the immediate environment and temperature, as the Canyon tree frog modifies its skin color to suit both. Many Canyon tree frogs have blotches of grey or green on their back, although this is not a universal trait. Males features dark throat patches and both sexes have the characteristically large adhesive toe pads exhibited by other tree frogs.


Canyon tree frogs are indigenous to the rocky plateaus found in the southern United States, mainly Arizona and New Mexico, though they can also be found in Texas, Colorado, and Utah, as well as several Mexican states (Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Mexico, Michoacan, and Guerrero)


While most tree frog species prefer to live trees, as their name would suggest, the Canyon tree frog makes its home along streams in the rock formations of the canyons and mountains that are a defining feature of the southwest American landscape. They often hide under crevices or overhangs when seeking out shade or protection from predators.


Mainly invertebrates, such as caddisflies, beetles, caterpillars, and miscellaneous bugs.


Canyon tree frogs often fall victim to snakes, raccoons, and ringtails, among other animals.


Although nocturnal, the Canyon tree frog will often spend large portions of their day in positions that expose them to both the sun and to potential predators. It is a credit to their remarkable camouflage capabilities that they are able to do this without being immediately devoured by predators looking to dine on frog. They have a chameleon-like talent for changing their skin color and are able to blend in perfectly with almost any rock surface. Even human hikers often do not see them until they get extremely close.


Mating season takes place during spring to early summer. Females lay their eggs in stream pools and though thousands of eggs are laid, only a handful of them ever make it to full maturity. Threats to the offsprings’ survival comes not only from predators looking for an easy lunch, but also environmental factors, such as drought and decreased flow in the streams used for egg-laying.