Tree Frogs — favorite friends
Olympia Mathiaparanam spends many days in the Biocore Prairie and the Preserve this summer. Tree frogs are one of her favorites. She captured the two shown here on iPhone and published them on iNaturalist, the nature apps that also helps you identify what you see in Preserve. These small little fellows are hard to detect, as you can imagine from the pictures. Below: the Holarctic Tree frog hardly covers the bottom of the narrow lance-like leaf pair. The brownish stripe along its side also helps camouflage it. Above: the tiny Gray Tree frog is but a little speck on the huge Prairie dock leaf that he sits on in the Biocore Prairie.
The Gray tree frog's Latin name is a Hyla versicolor, which means that it can change its color in chameleon like fashion from gray to green, depending on the substrate, and with mottling from black to nearly white.
Holarctic Tree frogs also belongs to the genus Hyla. The genus, established in 1768, was named after Hylas in Greek mythology, who was the companion of Hercules. Some strong little creature, this tree frog!
And in case you wanted to know this, if you should plan a trip to Costa Rica, you might want to look for the Gladiator tree frog, all of 1/2 inch body length and with enormous eyes (comparatively) sticking our from its head.
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Gisela Kutzbach and contributors