About Photographed Subject(s): Cuban Tree Frog
The Cuban Tree Frog is a beautiful species for photography, but it’s a non-native, invasive amphibian with a negative affect on our native frogs. It’s the largest tree frog in Florida measuring 1.5 to 5 inches in length with large toe pads. The skin is characterized with many bumps and tightly fused to the frog’s skull. Cuban tree frogs exist in variable colors like tan, brown, green, and white when inactive or cold–as in this photo.
Cuban Tree frogs are native to Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, and the Caribbean. They arrived in Florida by means of traveling ships with cargo containers in the 1920’s. Reports indicate they have migrated north up to Cedar Key on the Gulf Coast and Jacksonville on the Atlantic Coast. This is an exotic species not native to Florida that invades habitats and lives of our indigenous frogs. These Cuban bully frogs will eat other native frogs, toads, lizards, insects, spiders, and even small snakes. It’s reported to actually kill them to help revitalize our domestic frogs.
Cuban Tree frogs live in moist and shady areas in the vicinity of ponds, trees, shrubs, homes, and even swimming pools. In these ripe conditions they breed from May to October and lay their eggs in any body of still water, including a small bucket in your yard. If you see one, avoid touching it because their skin secretes a substance that irritates skin and eyes.
About Photo Moment: My Story and Location
I visited the White Sands Buddha center in Scottsmore, FL because I heard that it provides many photographic opportunities. During my walk in the garden my peripheral vision noticed this frog nestled and settled in the depths of a plant/bloom. Despite my closeness for a good photo, it remained calm and still as I acquired many pictures of it. I must admit that I was excited because he contrasted with the plant/bloom color well. They may not belong here, but as a photographer, it’s a moment you can’t miss in nature.
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