FloridaGardener's Blog
Jul 13

Written by: host
7/13/2009 8:25 PM

Greenhouse Frog

This tiny guy is a full grown Eleutherodactylus planirostris frog -- commonly known as the Greenhouse Frog. If you think this frog is little (about ½” to 1-1/4” long) you should see its babies which hatch as tiny “froglets” from the eggs mama frog lays. This is one of the few frogs that do not have a tadpole stage; instead they hatch out as mini-frogs that look just like their parents, only much, much smaller and with a tail which is eventually lost as it matures.

I found this little frog after moving my hose holder. It was hiding in the wet soil underneath it. Greenhouse Frogs are mostly terrestrial and nocturnal, seeking shelter by day beneath boards, leaves, trash, or other debris where there is moisture. The water filled cups of bromeliads are also a popular hiding spot for these frogs. Their call is a faint, musical, insect-like chirp and they may be heard calling at night or during rains usually from April to September in Florida.

Greenhouse Frogs are native to Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Bahama Islands, San Salvador, and many other Caribbean islands. It is theorized Eleutherodactylus planirostristhat they were introduced to Dade County, Florida from Cuba in the late 1800’s.

Eleutherodactylus planirostris is a non-native species in Florida and may compete with other small terrestrial animal species for food (i.e. prey like spiders, ants, earthworms and other small insects), but is not considered to be a threat to these other animal species. Greenhouse Frogs are probably preyed upon by a variety of frog-eating species such as Bufo Toads, Cuban Tree Frogs and snakes.

Greenhouse Frogs have 2 pattern phases, a mottled and a striped one. The mottled pattern phase seems to be the most common morph found in Florida. The Greenhouse Frog’s back is a mixture of rust and brown colors, and the belly is off-white or gray. The tip of the nose is red, and there is usually a black blotch between the eyes.

Greenhouse Frog - Eleutherodactylus planirostrisGreenhouse Frogs breed from May to September in Florida. The female Greenhouse Frog typically lays between 19 and 25 eggs which are attended by the female. Greenhouse Frogs deposit their eggs on land, under damp vegetation or debris, where close to 100% humidity is maintained. Hatching takes place approximately 13 days afterwards.


Copyright ©2009 Paul J. Erdek,


Re: Greenhouse Frog - Eleutherodactylus planirostris

The adult frog pictures are correct, but the "froglet" photos are actually a species of Toad. If you look closely you can see the tiny warts on the back of the toadlet as well as the facial coloration that defines it as a toadlet.

By Jess on   6/29/2010 9:23 PM

Re: Greenhouse Frog - Eleutherodactylus planirostris

Hey Jess, can you source that statement with images? The only likely toad it could be is Cane Toad. I forcibly evict all Cane Toads from my yard so I would not think there would be toadlets in it. I'm not saying it's impossible, but probably improbable.



By host on   6/29/2010 9:42 PM


thank u for this inforamtion i just got one of these frogs and i love him and now i know about him so thaks alot!! And i was wondering if i could feed him small crickets. thanks again!

By Kayle on   8/7/2011 12:57 PM

Re: Greenhouse Frog - Eleutherodactylus planirostris

"student" -- I do not know if they will eat small crickets. I found this on -- "N. Feeding Behavior. In order of occurrence, greenhouse frogs eat ants, beetles, and roaches, but include other types of small invertebrates (Goin, 1947a; Duellman and Schwartz, 1958; Lazell, 1989). In Jamaica, diet did not include roaches, but animals ate numerous ants, mites, spiders, and longlegs (Stewart, 1979)."

A newer study of Hawaiian Greenhouse Frogs found these tiny frogs eat (in order of importance): Formicidae, Acari, Collembola, Isopoda, and Araneae -- for those of us who are not entomologists, that is ants, mites, spring-tails, woodlice and spiders. Source:

By host on   8/7/2011 1:12 PM

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