Ohio Chameleon

We often hear treefrogs at The Hollow, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen one. At least, not until last weekend.

I looked down in the grass, and saw the most amazingly colorful little frog. He was bright green, with dark trim, and he had the most surprisingly bright yellow trim on the inside of his thighs. He was so carefully matched to the tone, color, and texture of the grass, that I almost missed seeing him.

His skin was so textured and warty, that at first I thought it must be a toad. It turns out that Grey Treefrogs (Hyla versicolor) are capable of shifting their skin tone from almost pure black, to white, with a variety of gray and green intermediate colors, which helps them blend into the background. Although they can’t change their color as rapidly as chameleons can, by Ohio standards, these little dudes are amazingly skillful at camouflaging themselves.

And at only 6cm, about 2-1/2 inches, these are small frogs, although they are big for tree frogs.  I was totally enthralled, and after grabbing some shots with my iPhone, and sharing my new friend with Elizabeth, I grabbed my DSLR and a macro lens, and more carefully documented this beautiful amphibian.

The tiny little toes, surprisingly long and supple, were capped with little tiny suction cups.  Given her arboreal lifestyle, this seems like a useful feature.

The most astounding feature was the eyes, two little dragon eyes, with exotically shaped retinas and a gorgeous gold lacework of bottomless texture. Such a big soul in such a little creature.


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