Florida Native Frogs or Cuban Invaders?

Summer brings an over-abundance of frogs to my yard. I often find them tucked down inside curling pepper leaves or snoozing on top of a growing pepper. They don’t hurt the plants, but the invasive Cuban tree frog can hurt the environment, by killing off our native frogs.

Cuban Tree Frogs?

I think these are Cuban tree frogs. I have seen frogs like this inside my house. One day I had one sitting on a plate in my kitchen. When we first moved into our house a huge, whitish frog came out of the tub drain! I’d never let frogs creep me out before, but there was something about these that I never liked.

frogs sleeping the day away
3 Frogs on my front light – one is sitting on another

They are nocturnal and come alive in the evening when they hop all over the windows and door eating bugs.

They also leave their poop everywhere as you can see by my disgusting looking light. I think this photo shows the Cuban frog. This type of frog will kill and eat the cute green ones – which I never see these days. And the Cuban frog can become quite large. They can also get into the plumbing – they do that by getting onto the roof – and other places and become a big problem.

It is true that these frogs do not appear to be the cute little green frogs that were once everywhere in Florida. You literally could not avoid them and they were simply part of Florida life. Florida life has changed.

Tree frog sleeping on a green pepper
Tree frog napping on my garden pepper – he is what type???

After I had a palm tree cut down in my front yard, the frog population seemed to decline. They may have been living in the tree.

frog on pepper leaf
Frog on pepper leaf

Good Frogs

This striped frog is one I came across while cleaning out the yard. I’d had some plastic containers stacked, which had filled with water. I was getting rid of the containers and discovered this frog swimming around with a bunch of tiny creatures – possibly tadpoles..? Once I disturbed his home, he climbed out of the container and disappeared.

I think this frog may be the Florida Chorus frog, but I’m not sure. I hope he makes it. Life is tough for Florida wildlife.

Florida Tree Frogs or Cuban Pests?

Just like the little green lizards, the green Florida tree frog seems to be disappearing. Well, the Cuban tree frog could be the reason. This article at the UF site says to catch the invaders and humanely euthanize them! Put them into the fridge, then the freezer! Yikes.

I would have to know for sure I had the right type of frog. Some of the links below lead to pages with photos of Florida’s various types of frogs.

That is not a bird peeking out of my birdhouse. In fact, frogs can take over birdhouses so the birds can’t use them to nest.

Frog inside this birdhouse

One more thing to mention. We have a Ring camera set up in the backyard and witnessed an opossum climb the wall to the light and pull a frog off to eat it! I can’t say which type of frog it was, but I rarely ever see the cute green frogs. I would assume that the opossum ate a Cuban tree frog. Let’s hope so.

More Florida Frog Info Links

All links go to the University of Florida website pages.

Around the Yard at The End of July

I just bought a new iPhone XR and wanted to try out the camera so I took a quick walk around the yard this evening. The no-see-ums were brutal so it was a quick photo shoot. Not all photos were taken with the new camera.

My caladiums are doing well. The white-leafed variety is not looking so good, but the red looks nice. Did you know they come back each year after winter?

red leafed caladiums
Caladium with red leaves

My bromeliad is shooting off some new little babies. I already started two new plants from this one and it looks like I will have more.

Bromeliads
Bromeliad with “babies”

The hot house hydrangea, which I planted in the garden, is doing very well! It is in the shade most of the day and I think that helps a lot. I just cut off the dead blooms to find new flowers hidden among the greenery.

hydrangea shrub
The hydrangea shrub is doing well!

The swallowtail butterfly has been busy laying her eggs on my fennel plant and I counted 40 worms, in all stages, crawling on the stems and chowing down on the flowers. The cardinals have grabbed some, but many remain. I hope some of them survive to become butterflies.

swallowtail worm
This worm will become a Swallowtail butterfly if it survives the cardinal attacks

Along the back hedge I spotted this pretty white flower which looks quite exotic. I believe it is an invasive species (it’s Florida, what else is new?) called the Japanese Honeysuckle. On the other side of the house I have the invasive Brazilian Pepper plant growing like mad.

Florida invasive species Japanese Honeysuckle
Japanese Honeysuckle?

The frogs were napping in their usual spot on top of my front door light. They make an awful mess, pooping all over the place. At night they travel over the window, front door and walls catching bugs.

If you look closely you can see the head of the third frog in the lower left of the photo. They are literally piled on top of each other. I believe this is an invasive species of frog which has killed off the beautiful green tree-frogs that used to be plentiful in Florida. I don’t know if these are Cuban tree frogs, but our outdoor security camera captured a possum climb the wall and snatch a frog off the light in the back yard! I also find dead frogs in the yard, so something is after them. The University of Florida has a page about frogs comparing the unwanted invaders with the cute green tree frogs which I never see these days.

frogs sleeping the day away
Frogs on my front light

Of course my two cats followed me all around the yard. They love having my company outdoors and since it’s usually too hot, I don’t do much outside with them. Below is Skittle who is always interested when I am pulling weeds.

Skittle the cat
Skittle

Beautiful Fontana is my older cat but she loves to be outside as well. Both cats spend most of their day sleeping outdoors even though it is extremely hot this time of year. I am home, and always let them in to cool off and fill their bellies, but they usually go right back out.

Fontana
Fontana

So that is my yard at the end of July. When we get through the next two months I will feel better. Nights will become cooler and I look forward to having a fan in the window at night. Aside from cutting the grass, not much is getting done in the yard. My vegetable garden is producing nothing much and my citrus trees are doing very poorly. I keep the bird bath filled and enjoy watching the birds that come to eat bugs and take baths.

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