The brown tree frog

Writer: Isaac Cohen  |  Editor: Liu Minxia  |  From: Shenzhen Daily

A brown tree frog is seen climbing to a branch in Bijia Mountain, Futian District.

Brown tree frog

The brown tree frog (Polypedates megacephalus) is a medium-sized frog with males about 5cm long and females up to 8cm long. As its name suggests, these frogs are mostly brown. Yet it is quite normal to find them in different colors in nature -- from yellowish to reddish -- mainly as a strategy to blend with their surroundings.


Their head is quite large in proportion, therefore its scientific name: megacephalus. They have huge round eyes on a triangular head.


A striking trait of this species is the big sticky disks at the tip of their fingers and toes that provide them with a powerful grip. They have webbed toes but their fingers lack webbing.


A brown tree frog is seen with a baby frog on its back in Bijia Mountain, Futian District.

The brown tree frog is probably the most common frog you can find in Shenzhen. It’s widespread in every park of the city where a pond or a river is found. They commonly feed on small insects like ants, but also fall prey to snakes and birds, contributing to a balance in the dynamics of our urban ecosystems.


A brown tree frog is seen in this Sept. 8, 2020 file photo.

Frogs in general are indicators of the good quality of the water and their surroundings, due to its sensitive skin, which can be affected by the slightest change in the environment. Having these amazing amphibians bouncing all over the ponds is a sign that we are on the right path to provide a healthy and suitable environment for our beloved fauna to prosper.