Rhacophoridae – Shrub frogs

Also known as "moss frogs" or "bush frogs", some members of this family are "flying frogs" or "gliding frogs"

These enigmatic creatures are primarily found in the old-world tropics, earning them the alternative name of “old-world tree frogs.” While most rhacophorids are predominantly arboreal, some groups within this family have adapted to terrestrial habitats.

One of the striking features of these frogs is their agility and acrobatics in their quest for food and escape from predators. They exhibit typical frog behavior, leaping and jumping with remarkable agility. However, some tree-dwelling members of this family have evolved a unique ability to glide through the forest canopy. These agile gliders can cover distances of up to 12 to 15 meters (40 to 50 feet) using expanded webbing between their fingers and toes. This remarkable adaptation enhances their survival in their tree-dwelling habitats, giving them an advantage in escaping threats and accessing resources.

Shrub frogs also possess skin that differentiates them from many other frog species. Their skin is typically smooth and moist, facilitating respiration through cutaneous gas exchange. This adaptation allows them to absorb oxygen directly through their skin, an invaluable advantage in their arboreal habitats where access to water bodies may be limited.

Among the most intriguing aspects of these frogs is their distinctive egg-laying behavior. While most frogs lay their eggs in water bodies, shrub frogs have evolved a unique approach. They deposit their eggs in various water-holding environments, such as tree hollows, bromeliads, or other plants capable of retaining water. These specialized niches provide a safe and protected environment for their tadpoles to develop.