Glass Frog

Glass frog Cochranella granulosa

Facts and Information about Glass Frogs

Description: There are at least 60 different types of glass frogs and, as one might expect, their appearance can differ in the details, however, most share common characteristics. Glass frogs are lime green with translucent abdominal skin that, upon close inspection, will allow a viewer to see its organs, including its intestinal tract, heart, and liver. Glass frogs range in size from 1.2 to 3 inches in length.

Special feature: The translucent skin of the Glass frog is thought to be a trait evolved for the purposes of camouflage; indeed, these tiny creatures truly do seem to melt into the leaves—one can see why predators would have a tough time finding them.

Location: Glass frogs make their home in the tropical rainforests and montane cloud forests of Central and South America. (Montane cloud forests are a type of forest characterized by persistent low-level cloud cover. They are also known as “mossy forests” and usually develop on the sides of mountains.)

Habitat: Glass frogs are arboreal creatures, residing high up in the treetops of the forests they inhabit. They rarely venture down from the canopy, but when they do, it is usually for breeding season, during which they venture down into streams and rivers to mate.

Diet: Glass frogs mainly feast upon spiders and soft-bodied insects.

Breeding: Breeding typically occurs either late at night or early in the morning after it has rained. Female Glass frogs deposit 20 to 30 eggs at a time on the underside of leaves that hang over a body of water, a practice not uncommon with frogs. An interesting aspect of Glass frog breeding behavior is that instead of leaving the eggs unattended, as most frog species do, male Glass frogs stand guard over the eggs, warding off other males, keeping the eggs moist, and protecting them from insects.

Behavior: The Glass frog is nocturnal, spending its days asleep amidst the vegetation of the forest and its nights hunting for food. To catch their prey, Glass frogs hold their mouths open and leap forward, capturing their meal.

Fun Facts:

  • Glass frogs sometimes eat their young.
  • Glass frogs are sometimes mistaken for tree frogs but there is one easy way to tell the difference: the eyes of the tree frog are positioned on both sides of its head. The eyes of the Glass frog, however, are quite bright and face straight ahead.