European Common Tree Frog

Hyla arborea arborea

The bright green European Common Tree Frog may be found flitting about leaves and boughs. Because the tips of its fingers and toes are suction discs, it can climb high up the branches of trees and bushes looking for food. During mating season, the species may be found near bodies of water, for example pressed against a reed or calling from the water itself.

Description
The European Common Tree Frog is unmistakeable due to its bright green colouring, smooth skin, discs on fingers and toes and dark stripe on each side. Occasionally specimens may occur which are dark brown, grey, or yellowish.

Distribution
Found across all of Austria except for higher Alpine regions.

Endangerment and Conservation Status
The decline of the Common Tree Frog is seen by many experts to be particularly dramatic.

Behaviour
These green creatures are the darlings of many wetlands visitors; no other amphibian has been able to win over the hearts of so many children! They can skilfully climb any surface, and their suction discs give them grip just about anywhere. In the spring and early summer, these cute animals may be seen on most marshy ponds and lakes. Their bleating calls resound over large distances and may lead some visitors to believe that these little frogs are actually performing a concert of sorts!

When calling, the male presses air into the large guttural vocal sac which swells up and acts as a type of resonator. In the autumn, when the light resembles that in the spring, the Common Tree Frog once again emits its call, this time high from the treetops. Some park visitors have been fooled into thinking that these calls are coming from strange birds! The female attaches walnut-sized clumps with 20-80 eggs on aquatic plants. These are then doused with sperm by the male, who is clinging to the female's back. The larvae emerge and are nourished by algae and aquatic plants. Metamorphosis transforms the larvae into small Common Tree Frogs who then explore the flora on the pond's banks.

Special Characteristics
In German, this species also carries the common name of "Wetterfrosch", which translates literally as "weather frog". Folklore has imbued this frog with weather-predicting capabilities; for this reason many a sad frog has had to lead a deprived existence in a tight glass jar.