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tree frog

tree frog, name for any of the small tree- or shrub-inhabiting frogs of the family Hylidae, characterized by an adhesive disk on the tip of each of the clawlike toes. This family has about 300 species distributed throughout most tropical and temperate regions, with the greatest number found in the New World tropics. Tree frogs, sometimes called tree toads, are usually under 3 in. (7.5 cm) long. They are gray, green, or brown, often blending with the natural background; in most species the color varies with the temperature and other conditions. Most tree frogs lay their eggs in or near water, where the tadpole develops. Many species, such as the spring peeper (Hyla gratiosa) and the chorus frogs (Pseudacris species), are known for the song they produce when they gather near ponds to breed in the spring. In one group of tree frogs the eggs are carried in a mass on the back of the female, exposed or in a pouch of skin. The tadpoles either are deposited in the water or continue their development in the pouch. A few members of the family, such as the North American cricket frog (Acris crepitans), are not arboreal. Tree frogs are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Amphibia, order Anura, family Hylidae.

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Hylidae

Hylidae (tree frogs; class Amphibia, order Anura) A family of frogs whose feet have suction pads. The digits are elongated with an extra, cartilaginous element. Brood-care behaviour is often well developed. Females of Gastrotheca marsupiatum (marsupial frog), small (3 cm) S. American frogs, carry fertilized eggs in a dorsal pouch for more than 100 days before releasing the tadpoles into water. Hyla arborea (European tree frog or green tree frog), the only tree frog to occur in Europe, with a range extending into N. Africa and temperate Asia, can change colour from light green to brown; the male has a balloon-like vocal sac but does not develop nuptial pads. There are 600 species in the family, widespread in tropical and temperate zones. They are mainly arboreal, but a few are secondarily ground-living, or aquatic.

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tree frog

tree frog • n. an arboreal frog (families Hylidae, of Eurasia, America, and Australia; and Rhacophoridae of Africa and Asia) that has long toes with adhesive disks and is typically small and brightly colored. The numerous species include the common green tree frog (Hyla arborea) of southern Europe

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tree frogs

tree frogs See HYLIDAE.

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