Stowaway in cargo shipment
Resource Protection & Long-Term Management
The Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrinalis) is a large treefrog that can grow to 4–5 inches long. They vary in color, but are normally beige, white or brown. They may also be green or dark yellow, and may have darker markings on their back and legs. They have large toe pads, “bug eyes”, numerous small warts, and a yellow wash in their armpit and groin areas. The young have reddish eyes, a jagged line down each side of their body, and bluish-green colored leg bones.
Invasive Cuban treefrogs look similar to several of Florida’s native treefrogs, so be sure you can accurately identify them.
Cuban treefrogs eat native treefrogs, and they also eat insects that would be food for native animals. They invade homes and sometimes are found in people’s toilets. When handled, Cuban treefrogs emit a noxious skin secretion that is extremely irritating to the mucous membranes (eyes & nose) of people. And they are even known to invade electrical generating equipment and have caused power outages. Their breeding calls can be a nuisance as well
Cuban treefrogs are found throughout the Florida peninsula as far north as Cedar Key on the west coast, Gainesville in the north-central peninsula, and Jacksonville on the east coast. There are also isolated records from the Florida panhandle and several other states in the Southeast. Cuban treefrogs can be quite abundant in suburban neighborhoods, but they also invade natural areas.
They spend most of their time during the day hiding in confined, protected spaces, such as in trees, under awnings and roof overhangs. At night they venture out to forage on the windows and sides of houses where light sources attract insects. During the breeding season they congregate at retention ponds, natural wetlands, and even pools that are not properly maintained, where males call into the wee hours before dawn to attract females for spawning.