This is a small frog. Greenhouse frogs have a pointed nose (Carmichael and Williams 1991). The vomerine teeth, behind the internal nares, are in transverse series. Toepads are truncated, and the toes are long and slender with strongly developed tubercles at the joints and terminal discs. There is no webbing between the toes (Wright and Wright 1949; Behler 1979; Dundee and Rossman 1989; Conant and Collins 1991). This frog is generally brown with a red tone. The snout tip is red and there is usually a black interorbital blotch (Dundee and Rossman 1989). The legs are banded with brown colors. The eyes are red and the belly or ventral surface is white. There are two color morphs, a striped morph with longitudinal light stripes, and a mottled morph with irregular dark and light markings (Behler 1979; Ashton and Ashton 1988; Dundee and Rossman 1989; Conant and Collins 1991).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Turks and Caicos Islands. Introduced: Guam, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, United States.
U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana
Greenhouse frogs are native to Cuba, Isla de Pinos, the Cayman Islands including Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, and the Bahama islands including Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, New Providence, Eleuthera, Andros, the Berry Islands, the Bimini Islands, the Exuma Cays, Green Cay, Cat, Long, and San Salvador (Schwartz 1974). The altitudinal range is from sea level to 727 m asl (Hedges et al. 2004).
Greenhouse frogs have been introduced in Florida, Louisiana near New Orleans (Dundee and Rossman 1989; Conant and Collins 1991), Georgia (Winn et al. 1999), Hawaii (Kraus et al. 1999), Guam (Christy et al. 2007), Jamaica (Pough et al. 1977), and Honduras (McCranie et al. 2008). There are also records from the Mexican mainland (Veracruz), although this species has not been seen there since the 1970s (Schwartz 1974; Hedges et al. 2004).
These frogs can be found in a variety of terrestrial habitats, including forests, caves, gardens, and urban areas. On Grand Cayman it inhabits arboreal bromeliads (Hedges et al. 2004).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
E. planirostris is generally terrestrial but individuals on Grand Cayman Island have been found in arboreal bromeliads (Hedges et al. 2004).
This frog is a direct-developing species, meaning eggs hatch directly into subadult fully terrestrial frogs. The free-swimming larval stage (tadpole) common in many frogs is completely absent.
Trends and Threats
This is an adaptable species that is common in many different types of habitat and is not currently under threat (Hedges et al. 2004). Although it has been thought that E. planirostris was introduced into Florida around 1875 (Dundee and Rossman 1989), subsequent phylogenetic analysis has revealed that a single dispersal probably occurred from western Cuba (Matanzas) to the Florida Keys between 70-400,000 years ago (Heinicke et al. 2011). Today E. planirostris can be found throughout most of Florida (Wilson and Porras 1983; Smith and Kohler 1987; Ashton and Ashton 1988; Conant and Collins 1991).
Ashton, R. E. and Ashton, P. S. (1988). Handbook of Reptiles and Amphibians of Florida. Part Three, The Amphibians.. Windward Publishing, Miami.
Behler, J. L. (1979). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York.
Carmichael, P. and Williams, W. (1991). Florida's Fabulous Reptiles and Amphibians. World Publications, Tampa.
Christy, M. T., Clark, C. S., Gee II, D. E., Vice, D., Vice, D. S., Warner, M. P., Tyrrell, C. L., Rodda, G. H. and Savidge, J.A. (2007). ''Recent records of alien anurans on the Pacific Island of Guam.'' Pacific Science, 61, 469-483.
Conant, R. and Collins, J. T. (1991). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
Duellman, W. E. and Schwartz, A. (1958). Amphibians and Reptiles of Southern Florida. Volume 3. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Gainesville.
Dundee, H. A. and Rossman, D. A. (1989). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge.
Goin, C. J. (1947). ''Studies on the life history of Eleutherodactylus ricordii planirostris (Cope) in Florida.'' University of Florida Studies, Biological Sciences Series, 4(2), 1-66.
Goin, O. B., Goin, C. J., and Bachmann, K. (1968). ''DNA and amphibian life history.'' Copeia, 1968(3), 532-540.
Hedges, B., Díaz, L., and Powell, R. 2004. Eleutherodactylus planirostris. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 27 January 2011.
Heinicke, M. P., Diaz, L. M., and Hedges, S. B. (2011). ''Origin of invasive Florida frogs traced to Cuba.'' Biology Letters, doi: doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.1131.
Kraus, F., Campbell, E.W., Allison, A. and Pratt, T. (1999). ''Eleutherodactylus frog introductions to Hawaii.'' Herpetological Review, 30, 21-25.
McCranie, J. R., Collart, J. R., Castañeda, F. E., and Solis, J. M. (2008). ''Geographic distribution. Eleutherodactylus (Euhyas) planirostris (Greenhouse Frog).'' Herpetological Review , 39, 362–363.
Neill, W. T. (1951). ''A bromeliad herpetofauna in Florida.'' Ecology, 32(1), 140-143.
Pough, F. H., Stewart, M. M., and Thomas, R. G. (1977). ''Physiological basis of habitat partitioning in Jamaican Eleutherodactylus.'' Oecologia, 27, 285-293.
Schwartz, A. (1974). ''Eleutherodactylus planirostris.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 154.1-154.4.
Shreve, B. (1945). ''Application of the name Eleutherodactylus ricordii.'' Copeia, 1945(2), 117.
Smith, H. M., and Kohler, A. J. (1977). ''A survey of herpetological introductions in the United States and Canada.'' Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, 80(1), 1-24.
Wilson, L. D. and Porras, L. (1983). The Ecological Impact of Man on the South Florida Herpetofauna. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 9, Lawrence, Kansas.
Winn, B., Jensen, J. B., and Johnson, S. (1999). ''Eleutherodactylus planirostris (greenhouse frog).'' Herpetological Review, 30(1), 49.
Wright, A. H. and Wright, A. A. (1949). Handbook of Frogs and Toads of the United States and Canada. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc., Ithaca, New York.
Originally submitted by: Vance T. Vredenburg (first posted 2000-01-18)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2022-09-25)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Eleutherodactylus planirostris: Cuban Flat-headed Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/3137> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 9, 2023.
Feedback or comments about this page.
Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 9 Dec 2023.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.