Agalychnis saltator is a relatively small red-eyed frog, with adult males ranging from 34 to 54 mm and the larger females ranging from 57 to 66 mm. This frog can be identified by its red eyes with vertical pupils, and its orange hands and feet. They have extensive webbing between the fingers and toes and large suction disks at end of each digit
(Leenders 2001). The adults are light or dark leaf green with some individuals having one to several raised yellow spots on their dorsal side. The sides of the body and anterior and posterior surface of the thighs are bluish purple. Their iris color can range from orange to tomato red. Their ventral side are cream anteriorly with a yellow or orange tint posteriorly. Other than the size difference between the males and females, males develop a dark or black patch on the inside of the base of the thumb during mating season
(Guyer and Donnelly 2005). This species closely resembles Agalychnis callidryas (red-eyed leaf frog) but with some differences. It has a uniform dark blue or purple flanks instead of vertical white, yellow, or cream bars found in the red-eyed leaf frog. Another difference is that Agalychnis saltator changes its color from uniform leaf-green during the day to tan or brown during the night, while the red-eyed leaf frog just change their hue
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua
This red-eyed leaf frog occurs in the humid lowlands of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It is found in the same areas as Agalychnis callidryas
(Leenders 2001). They inhabit swamps during the mating season (wet season) and canopy trees in primary forest during the dry season
(Guyer and Donnelly 2005).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
During the mating season, these tree frogs breed on vines that overhang temporary ponds in forested areas (Leenders 2001). Males give off a short,soft, high pitched "peep" or "chirp" at the breeding site. The call has a long interval which can last up to 30 seconds. Calls are made from the perch of the trees around the breeding sites
(Guyer and Donnelly 2005). They only mate after periods of heavy precipitation. Eggs are laid on mosses that cover the vines. It is during this time that the frogs are most prone to predation. Ants have been observed preying on the frog eggs. Various species of snakes feed on both eggs and adults. They are known as the parachuting red-eyed leaf frog because in order to move rapidly to mating grounds, males leap from considerable height to leaves of a plant. While jumping, this frogs extends its limbs and spreads out the skin between its fingers and toes
Trends and Threats
All five Agalychnis species (A. annae, A. callidryas, A. moreletii, A. saltator, and A. spurrelli) have just received CITES protection, under Appendix II (as of March 21, 2010). Within the past decade the U.S. alone has imported 221,960 Agalychnis frogs, according to the Species Survival Network (SSN).
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
Guyer, C., and Donnelly, M. A. (2005). Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica and the Caribbean Slope: A Comprehensive Guide. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Leenders, T. (2001). A Guide to Amphibians And Reptiles of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, Miami.
Originally submitted by: Peera Chantasirivisal (first posted 2005-10-28)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-03-26)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Agalychnis saltator: Parachuting Red-eyed Leaf Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/620> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 20, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 Mar 2023.
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