The Pacific tree frog has many unique body parts that all have a very specific function.  First off, they have a very long, sticky tongue that is used to reach out and grab prey right out of the air.  The tongue then retracts quickly into the mouth to allow the frog to eat. (California Herps 2013)  To also help with hunting, Pacific tree frogs have sticky toe pads, which enable them to climb on plants and other surfaces while they are sneaking up on prey.  They may also wiggle their toes to lure prey into catching range.  To learn more about Pacific tree frog prey, check out the Interactions page.

Pacific tree frogs with extended hind legs for swimmingPacific tree frogs, like most frogs, move by jumping with large hind legs.  Their powerful legs allow them to move relatively quickly from place to place and escape predators if necessary.  Their webbed toes, along with their legs, help them to swim swiftly through the water.

Pacific tree frog tadpoles swim through water with a tail, like most other tadpoles.  However, the length of the tadpole tail depends on the type of predator in their environment.  When tadpoles have bluegill sunfish in their habitat, they develop shorter tails and bodies, which help them to avoid being eaten.  To also avoid predation, tadpoles with predaceous diving beetle larvae in their environment develop longer tails and bodies (Benard 2006).  Each body style allows the tadpoles to survive in their specific habitat, based off of close predators.  To find out more information on tadpoles, visit the Reproduction page.

Pacific tree frogs eat a variety of foods, including large insects.  Some of the insects may be as large as they are, in which case they have a problem.  To overcome the size issue, the frogs are able to make their bodies slightly larger so that they can eat the insect. 

Green Pacific tree frog camouflaged with its environmentOne of the most amazing characteristic of the Pacific tree frog is its ability to exist in different colors based off of the surrounding environment.  Most commonly, the frogs are either green or brown.  The green phenotype usually occurs in cold and aquatic environments because the green color absorbs more solar radiation.  The brown color doesn’t absorb as much radiation, so that phenotype usually occurs in dry terrestrial environments. (ADW 2013)Brown Pacific tree frog camouflaged with its environment  There are a few other very rare phenotypes, like reddish brown, but the most recent discovery is the ability for some Pacific tree frogs to change color.  Recent studies show that frogs most likely change based on the seasons, to match the green background or the lack of green in the background (Wente and Phillips 2005).  The ability to change colors allows them to blend in with their surrounding and avoid predation. 


To learn more about the predators of tree frogs, continue on to the Interactions page.