A tree frog is a frog in the family Hylidae or Rhacophoridae which has certain adaptations which predispose the frog to an arboreal lifestyle. Tree frogs spend much of their lives in trees and shrubs, although some species may choose other lifestyles, depending on environment and inclination, and these frogs are quite diverse. The vast majority of tree frogs live in the tropics of the New World, but they can also be found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Some zoological parks keep tree frogs for their visitors to examine, especially if the parks have a focus on conservation in the tropics. Exotic tree frogs may be displayed with other tropical species in large greenhouses which are designed to create a replication of the warm, moist tropical environment, and tree frogs can also be seen on display in smaller tanks and cages. Some tree frog species also make suitable pets, with pet stores carrying tree frogs along with other supplies like aquaria and food for frogs.
The main defining feature of a tree frog is the adhesive discs attached to its long toes, which enable it to climb rapidly and securely in its arboreal home. Tree frogs come in a range of colors, from drab greens and browns to brightly colored tropical effusions of color found on tropical frogs; the bright colors are a warning that the frog is toxic, encouraging predators to look elsewhere for a snack.
Old World Tree frogs fall into the Family Rhacophoridae, and they are also known as moss frogs. They tend to be relatively small, and many are a bright, glossy green. New World Frogs in the family Hylidae come in a range of colors, and many are also extremely vocal. This is because tree frogs meet up around ponds and puddles to mate, so they vocalize to lure companions out of the surrounding woodlands.
Although most tree frog species live in trees, they generally lay their eggs in water, with the exception of a species which incubates eggs on its back. Some tree frogs are burrowing frogs, preferring the moist environments near lakes, ponds, and streams, and others build nests in undergrowth, rather than inhabiting trees. Tree frogs eat diverse diets, depending on where they live, consuming a wide variety of insects and some plant materials.
Like other amphibians, tree frogs are very sensitive to changes in their natural environment caused by pollution or increased human activity. As a result, some tree frog species are used as indicators to monitor the health of specific regions of the world.