File Under: Stay Hungry, Amigos
Up to five and a half inches in length.
Considered invasive, though they do eat some bad-ass bugs.
According to the the University of Florida site, the impact of the Cuban Treefrog on human quality of life includes this list of sins: "they breed loudly after midnight in pools, ponds, birdbaths, etc.; they invade toilets and can clog drains; they invade power boxes and cause power outages."
Yeah yeah. And they play their car radios too loud.
After spending the day sleeping under the eaves on the front porch at our house, these frogs get lively at night. Their suction-cup feet make it sound like a tomato has splatted the window pane when they attach or detach.
If you are both on the same side of glass, it's undeniably alarming when these frogs leap. Blank-faced and speedy, they might land on a face, an arm, a bare shoulder. Where -- gulp! -- they can prove to be a bit clingy. They do not enjoy being pulled from their chosen perch, and will attach with all their vacuum power. They might even pee in protest when you try to remove them. Even if you are trying to remove them from your face..
Best to focus instead on what they eat.
Which is pretty much anything smaller than themselves. Cuban treefrogs seem (charmingly enough) fond of palmetto bugs. (Palmetto bugs? Giant cockroaches with a chamber-of-commerce name).
Palmetto bugs deserve to star in their own horror movie. These Florida-fixture bugs look somewhat like big sticky Medjool dates with legs, antennae, etc. They grow to nearly 2 inches in length and can fly (for the love of all things sacred -- they FLY!).
If I were making a low-budget horror film about them ("Palmetto! They Fly By Night!"), it would be the Cuban treefrogs and their appetites who come to the rescue of the stranded travelers. I might end my movie with one of the genre standards: an ambiguous look at a pensive frog in close-up with a voice-over by the ruggedly nerdy scientist: "We'll never understand why they did it, but I think I speak for all of us when I say to the frogs, 'Stay hungry my friends.' "
3/28/2014 03:18:51 am
This is why a good, prolonged freeze shouldn't be whined about. The only thing between me and a lot of invasive species is an old fashioned winter--the kind that starts early, makes road trips south seem inviting and drags on relentlessly through March.
3/28/2014 10:46:34 am
Right you are, George --
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