Category Archives: amphibians

A chameleonic tree frog

by Piter Kehoma Boll

When we think of animals changing colors to adapt to the background, we readily think of chameleons, or maybe of some extremely rapid color switchers such as cephalopods like octopuses and cuttlefish. However, many other animals have this ability too.

One example are tree frogs of the family Rhacophoridae, especially of the genus Rhacophorus.

Recently, the phenomenon was recorded for the first time for the species Rhacophorus smaragdinus in northeastern India. The animal was of a vivid green color when found but, as soon as the researchers handled it, it turned into a dull brown color in a matter of seconds, only to slowly go back to green after left alone.

A disturbed female of Rhacophorus smaragdinus made itself brown and started to get green again after left undisturbed for some minutes. Credits to CK et al. (2019).*

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CK D, Payra A, Tripathy B, Chandra K (2019) Observation on rapid physiological color change in Giant tree frog Rhacophorus smaragdinus (Blyth, 1852) from Namdapha Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Herpetozoa 32: 95–99. doi: 10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e36023

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*Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Filed under amphibians, Behavior, Zoology