Bermuda Tree Frogs

One of the most characteristic night sounds of Bermuda.

Whistling Frogs (tree frogs)

Whistling frog

Two species, Eleutherodactylus johnstonei and Eleutherodactylus gossei (first is shown in 1979 Bermuda Postage Stampgraphic here) sing loudly at night. They are one of the most characteristic night sounds of Bermuda between April and November. They are not indigenous – both were introduced accidentally sometime prior to 1880, most likely on orchids imported from the Lesser Antilles. They can be found elsewhere in temperate and sub-tropical regions. 

They are so small they can sit on a thumbnail. They have tiny suction discs on long, slender toes. They can be heard island-wide when the weather is warm enough but are most common in the Parishes of DevonshirePagetPembroke and Warwick. Their song is the sound of males trying to attract females. The first of the two is more common and smaller. The other has almost disappeared. Both are brownish, nocturnal, living in trees near the ground and by day hiding under stones and leaf litter.  

Many visitors are not used to the whistling song, a loud bell-like chorus, of these tiny and harmless creatures. Some visitors say it disturbs their sleep but others love it because it adds a unique sound to the atmosphere. Some newly-weds say it keeps them awake and explains their sleepy eyes the next morning. Whistling frogs do not require standing water for breeding but pass through their tadpole stage within the egg itself. Clusters of eggs are laid in damp situations among rotting vegetation or under stones.

Bermuda tree frog

source: www.bermuda-online.org

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