Pets & Animals

Do Tree Frogs Need Water to Swim In?


Ever seen those green, slimy little frogs stuck to tree leaves? Are you willing to pet them for a long time, or are you fed up with their cries and want to know how to get rid of tree frogs?

Well, stop looking here and there and pull up your socks as we dive into the itsy bitsy details of these beautiful, lush creatures. Whether it is about shooing them away or wooing them in, this blog will help you in many ways. From their requirement for water to their swimming patterns, their habitat, and survival solutions, we have covered it all.

So hop on as we get onto this amazing ride that is all about green tree frogs.

Overview of Tree Frogs

Overview of Tree Frogs

There are over 850 kinds of frogs, and when we have ‘green tree frogs’ in question, they amazingly come in three different kinds. The first is the Australian Green Tree Frog that goes by the scientific name of ‘Litoria caerulea’ and is around 4 inches long with a bright jade green color.

Then there are American Green Tree Frogs that go by the scientific name of ‘Hyla cinerea’ and are of bright green to yellowish/greyish green color with black and white stomachs and yellow lines running on their sides. Talking of size, they are measured around 2.5 inches long, and their females are larger than the male kinds.

Lastly, there are Emerald Tree Frogs that go by the scientific name of ‘Zhangixalus prasinatus’ and are around 2.5 inches long with a bright emerald green color and are commonly found in Taiwan. Talking of common factors, all of these mentioned kinds are terrarium inhabitants, and ironically, the Australian Green Tree Frogs are found majorly in parts of Florida today.

Do Tree Frogs Need Water to Swim?

Do Tree Frogs Need Water to Swim_

And we are back to the original question. Green Tree Frogs require water as they absorb water through their skins but not for swimming. In fact, they are not so very good swimmers after all.

To know these intriguing details in depth, read along as we unravel some of the quirkiest facts about them.

Can They Swim?

Can They Swim?

Unlike many other frog breeds that tend to live in water, green tree frogs live on lands and plants near water bodies and not inside water. They get into the water when they want to reproduce, and else, land is the choice for them to live in.

Adult Tree frogs have padded toes that make them good climbers and bad swimmers. The frogs that swim are characterized by webbed feet that aid them in propelling through water, and green tree frogs are devoid of this feature.

It’s not like they can’t swim at all, but it is like they can swim a little and not in too much depth. As stated earlier, they prefer living on land near water bodies to absorb moisture through their skin, and they get a dip only when they are preparing to reproduce.

Unlike their adults, green tree frogs as tadpoles are excellent swimmers, though. When at tadpole age, they swim, breathe via gills, and survive inside water. At this stage, they can swim well across water and float and dive, but once they hit the froglet stage, they gradually lose their tail, which earlier aided them in swimming. Having lost that, they evidently lose their swimming skills and crawl up on land, leaving their water habitat once and for all (except for reproductive processes). Adult tree frogs are known for their climbing and hopping abilities and not for their swimming abilities.

Now that we know this major difference, it won’t be wrong to answer the major question at hand. Adult Tree Frogs don’t live in water, so they don’t need water to swim in regularly.

How Physical Forms Determine Swimming Among Frogs?

How Physical Forms Determine Swimming Among Frogs_

Frogs are differentiated due to different anatomical and physical features, their places of origin, their breeding patterns, etc. The basic difference between an aquatic frog and a tree frog lies in its physical development.

Aquatic frogs are distinguished by long hind legs that are very strong, much like that of a spring, to aid in swimming and leaping. Such formation of limbs also helps them in proper and balanced landing and navigation. They also have webbed feet to propel water and swim further.

The anatomical features of Green Tree Frogs are comparatively very different from those of aquatic frogs. Instead of webbed toes, they have padded toes that are also adhesive. This makes it easier for tree frogs to hop, climb, and stick on surfaces. There are variants of tree frogs that possess opposable thumbs as well. Such finger formation helps them jump from surface to surface, grasping, clasping, and hopping.

Final Thoughts

Well, by now, you must have the idea that these tree frogs are very different from other frog breeds. They spend most of their life span on land, in marshes and other regions, and occasionally take a dip.

With this collective information, you can gather what is best for you and go on petting one tiny, slimy creature for yourself. These green tree frogs appeal to the eyes and are a terrarium keeper. Not a lot of fuss; these creatures require minimal care and attention.

Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan holds a Master’s in Animal Behavior from Cornell University, dedicating his 11-year career to understanding and improving the human-animal bond. Since joining our website in 2022, Cesar has provided insights into pet care, behavior modification, and animal communication. His background includes roles in animal research and as a professional dog trainer. Cesar’s previous roles included working as a veterinarian and animal behaviorist. Cesar is an avid wildlife photographer in his leisure time and participates in conservation education programs.

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