The Amazing Glass Frog

Glass frogs are so called because they have somewhat translucent skin that permits you to see their internal organs.  Glass frogs are similar in appearance to some green frogs of the genus   Eleutherodactylus   and to some  tree frogs  of the family  Hylidae .  Glass frogs describe a number of frog species in the family Centrolenidae.

Glass frogs live in and among the trees and plants of humid mountain forests in Central and South America.  Glass frogs are mostly active at night, which makes them very difficult to spot for predators.  Glass frogs are difficult to study because, for one thing, they’re hard to see, even right in front of your nose.  In addition, glass frogs are nocturnal and tend to hang out above mountain streams among overhanging leaves and branches, often in dense primary forest. The animals may be 10 or 20 feet up in a tree, or clinging to the wall of a waterfall.  For more about glass frogs and CRARC’s work, including the new Glass Frog Research and Conservation Project, see .

There are 134 species of glass frogs with 60 of them threatened. Of the rest, 49 are classified as having “not enough data” to classify their status.  Ranas De Vidrio – Costa Rica – Glass Frogs (2007).  As the climate changes, studying how the glass frogs cope will indicate how the other flora and fauna are handling the changes as well.  Between the 1950s and 1970s, most species of glass frogs were known from  Central America , particularly from  Costa Rica  and  Panama , where E. H. Taylor and Jay M. Savage extensively worked, and just a few species were known to occur in  South America .  In 1973, John D. Lynch and William E. Duellman, published a large revision of the glass frogs from Ecuador showing that the species richness of Centrolenidae was particularly concentrated in the  Andes .  Glass frog  (or  Glassfrogs ) is the common name for the  frogs  of the  amphibian   family   Centrolenidae  ( order   Anura ). While the general background coloration of most glass frogs is primarily  lime green , the abdominal skin of some members of this family is  translucent .