Masked Treefrog
Smilisca phaeota

The Masked Treefrog (Smilisca phaeota) is a relatively common large treefrog from Central America and northern South America.  It ranges through the lowlands from Costa Rica through Panama into Colombia and northeastern Ecuador.  It is occasionally known as the New Granada Cross-banded Treefrog.

This large frog's body color varies from brown to tan to yellow with varying amounts of green visible.  The dark mask for which it is named continues down the side of the body from the eye.  This species is very similar looking to its more northerly cousin, the Mexican Treefrog (Smilisca baudinii).

Its call has been described as a raucous "wrauk".  The call is loud and carries very well.  I photographed and recorded these Masked Treefrogs in the grounds of the Hotel Tucana in Alajuela, Costa Rica in August of 2014.  They were calling from a pool of standing water underneath some vegetation within the manicured gardens of the hotel.  They called every night whether it had rained or not.

Smilisca phaeota call

© Chris Harrison 2014

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