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 that 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 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.