Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas Cuban Tree Frog

Sung to the tune of "Oh, Christmas Tree":
(Sing along, now!)

Oh, Cuban tree! Oh, Cuban tree!
How sad that you invaded.
Oh, Cuban tree! Oh, Cuban tree!
All other frogs, annihilated.

At Christmas at my dad and brother's house in Central Florida, our sons identified this Cuban tree frog on the downspout. It is by the chimney, and it was Christmas Eve, after all, so one can suppose it was on the lookout for Santa.

Cuban Tree Frogs are exotic invasives that kill the native frogs. As a result, they croak. (Sorry.) These are HUGE tree frogs that secrete a toxic mucous that is best left untouched. They started in the Keys and have worked their way into the Florida Panhandle.  They breed year round. A full clutch of eggs is said to number around 4,000! Eggs can hatch in less than thirty hours. This was the first Cuban tree frog that I had ever seen, though the sons had come across them before. They can be tricky to identify in that there are lots of different appearances, but the guys consulted some references. Once they were positive it was a Cuban, they took the recommended action: it was bagged and frozen, which is considered the most humane way to deal with it. We consider it a defense of our homeland frogs.

Feliz Navidad y Buenas Noches!

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