St. John USVI Fauna: Cuban Frog

Cuban Frogs

After big a rain a large puddle of water forms at the boat landing in Great Cruz Bay. At first I thought about mosquitoes breeding, but after looking at it I wondered if mosquito larva could survive in that mini-pond as it was host to hundreds of Cuban treefrog tadpoles.

Cuban TreefrogTadpoles at Great Cruz BayThe Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) is native to Cuba, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. Here in the Virgin Islands they are considered an invasive species. They are much larger than our native frogs and have a voracious appetite eating all kinds of insects and lizards as well as consuming our own tiny native frogs. Moreover, their tadpoles compete with our native tadpoles crowding them out and eating their food.

cuban treefrog tadpole

Cuban treefrog magnified
Cuban treefrog head magnified

Another nasty fact about the Cuban treefrog that the slime on their skin is an irritants that can effect people’s noses and eyes and may even cause breathing problems.

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