Frog of the Week

Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog (Smilisca fodiens)

Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog
photo by Rafael Alejandro Calzada-Arciniega
least concern

Common Name: Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog or Northern Casquehead Frog
Scientific Name: Smilisca fodiens
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: Mexico and the United States
US Location: Arizona
Size: 2.5 inches (6.35 cm)

The Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog is not your typical tree frog, it is not usually found living in the trees, it usually lives in burrows. It lives in the desert so the they need to keep moist. The burrows they live in are very moist. If the moisture leaves during periods of drought, the frogs can create a cocoon out of their outer skin to help keep them moist. After the rains come and the frog doesn’t need the cocoon anymore, the frog will break out and then eat the cocoon.

Following the summer rains in June through August, the Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog starts to breed. The males of the species gather in temporary pool created by the rain and start to call for the females.

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