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Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris)

Species Detail

First year: 1875

Extirpated year: 

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently have been self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 33 counties for at least 10 years, and four counties for less than 10 years

Statewide trend: Expanding

Threats to natives: May compete with other small terrestrial anuran species for food, but the threats are probably minimal (K. M. Enge, FFWCC, personal opinion). It probably is preyed upon by a variety of frog-eating species, especially snakes.

Species Account: This small, leptodactylid frog species is native to Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Bahama Islands, San Salvador, and many other Caribbean islands (Schwartz 1974). Florida animals probably came from Cuba and were recorded in Dade County as early as 1875 (Cope 1875). Females may be 3.2 cm (1.25 in) long, but males only 1.9 cm (0.75 in). There are 2 pattern phases, a mottled and a striped one. The 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. Males call using insect-like chirps and trills on rainy days or at night during warm weather while sitting on the ground or low on plant leaves. One to 2 dozen eggs are laid in damp debris or pockets in the earth. Full metamorphosis occurs in the egg, and tiny froglets with tiny tail stubs hatch out without undergoing an aquatic tadpole stage. In Florida, this species can be found in every terrestrial habitat and even utilizes wetland habitats during dry periods (Enge and Wood 1999-2000). In natural habitats, it appears to be most abundant in mesic and hydric hammocks (Enge and Wood 1999-2000; K. M. Enge, FFWCC, Quincy, personal observation). This secretive species is often common in gardens, greenhouses, and nurseries, where it hides beneath boards, mulch, leaves, and stepping stones (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). In xeric habitats, it often shelters in gopher tortoise burrows (K. M. Enge, personal observation).

Habitats: Coastal upland, Exotic plant community, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns, Agricultural habitat, Recently disturbed, early successional community, Rockland Hammock, Pine Rockland, Flatwoods, Mesic Hammocks, Xeric Uplands, Dry prairie, Lowland forest or swamp, Wet prairie, Freshwater marsh

Region First Year Extirpated Year Breeding Status Notes
North Central 1933 At least 10 years
South 1875 At least 10 years Miami (Cope 1875)


Barbour, T. 1910. Eleutherodactylus ricordii in Florida. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 23:100.

Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. 278pp.

Cope, E. D. 1875. The herpetology of Florida. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 27:10-11.

Enge, K. M. 1998. Herpetofaunal survey of an upland hardwood forest in Gadsden County, Florida. Florida Scientist 61:141-159.

Enge, K. M., and K. N. Wood. 1999-2000. A herpetofaunal survey of Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, Hernando County, Florida. Herpetological Natural History 7:117-144.

Goin, C. J. 1944. Eleutherodactylus ricordii at Jacksonville, Florida. Copeia 1944:192.

Irwin, K. J. 1999. Eleutherodactylus planirostris (greenhouse frog). Herpetological Review 30:106.

Jensen, J. B., and J. G. Palis. 1995. Eleutherodactylus planirostris (greenhouse frog). Herpetological Review 26:104.

Johnson, S. A., J. S. Staiger, and W. J. Barichivich. 2003. Geographic distribution: Eleutherodactylus planirostris (greenhouse frog). Herpetological Review 34:161-162.

Krysko, K. L., and F. W. King. 2000. Eleutherodactylus planirostris (greenhouse frog). Herpetological Review 31:109.

Reichard, S. M., and H. M. Stevenson. 1964. Records of Eleutherodactylus ricordi at Tallahassee. Florida Naturalist 37:97.

Schwartz, A. 1974. Eleutherodactylus planirostris (Cope). Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 154.1-4.

Skermer, G. H. 1939. Notes on Eleutherodactylus ricordii. Copeia 1939:107-108.

Timmerman, W. W., J. B. Miller, and C. V. Tamborski. 1994. The herpetofauna of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Martin County, Florida. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks, Hobe Sound, Florida, USA. Final Report Project No. 7618. 38pp.

Van Hyning, O. C. 1933. Batrachia and Reptilia of Alachua County, Florida. Copeia 1933:3-7.

Wray, K., and R. Owen. 1999. New records for amphibians and reptiles from Nassau County, Florida. Herpetological Review 30:237-238.

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