do tree frogs change color

Do Tree Frogs Change Color?

Tree frogs are known for their varied and vibrant colors, but did you know that tree frogs change color too? This natural process, known as metachrosis, is fairly common among amphibians, and is exhibited by some species of tree frogs.

The Different Types of Color Change

Tree frogs change their colors in two ways, passive and active color change.

  • Active color change is when a frog intentionally changes its color. This type of color change is usually used as a means of camouflage to avoid predators or as a way to communicate with other frogs.
  • Passive color change is when a frog’s color darkens in response to the environment, usually in reaction to light and temperature.

Factors That Influence a Frog’s Color Change

Different species of tree frogs exhibit different kinds of color changes, and the pigments of their skin play an important role in their ability to change color.

  • Temperature can cause a frog’s color to change. When temperatures are higher, some species of frogs become lighter in color, and when temperatures are lower, they tend to darken.
  • Light and moisture can also influence a frog’s color. When light levels are low, the pigments in a frog’s skin change, making them appear darker. Conversely, more moisture in the environment can cause a frog’s color to brighten.
  • Lastly, hormones play an important role in regulating a frog’s color. In certain species, hormones influence a frog’s ability to change its color, allowing them to lighten or darken.


Tree frogs are undoubtedly fascinating creatures, and their color-changing abilities are certainly evidence of that. By understanding the underlying causes and factors that influence the color change in tree frogs, we can better appreciate the complexity of these amphibians.

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