Measuring no more than two to three inches in length, (6-7 cms.) the so called monkey frogs used to be found frequently in local coffee plantations.
The coffee frog has a green back, an orange colored belly and a sky-blue stripe in between. Its eyes are yellow and it is scientifically known as the Agalychnis annae, a member of the Hylidae family.
One distinguishing feature of the monkey frogs is their webbed feet and suction toes which allow them to climb trees and move easily on slippery surfaces like wet leaves and lily pads. This ability to climb is important because after they mate they deposit the eggs on leaves on branches which hang over the water.
They can even climb up a window pane.
The Agalychnis annae frogs are able to jump, but seldom do so. Instead, they walk on twigs and tree leaves, with a gait similar to that of monkeys. That is why they are sometimes called "monkey frogs".
When it rains, the hatching larvae slide down and fall into the water below.
The baby frogs will be relatively protected in the Bougainvillea ponds, feeding from the abundant bugs present in the gardens.
The Importance of Providing Habitat for Frogs Dr. Heinz Hoffman, Phytopathologist
Frogs origins go back many million years and they have survived and developed. Fossilized remains of frogs which lived in the Jurassic period, some 150 million years ago have been found. They were descendants of ancient amphibians originating 350 million years ago. Nevertheless, they are delicate. So any substantial change in the environment can mean their rapid extinction.
The way of life of frogs and toads is incredibly complex. Their reproductive relations and the care of their eggs are strongly related to their specific environment. Not all frogs lay their eggs only in water and go away, as people commonly think. Males of certain species wrap themselves in strings of eggs, and carry them around until they are ready to take them into the water.
Other species lay their eggs in protected but dry caves. After that, they have to moisten them and take the newborn larvae to adequate water areas.
During the eighties, in Australia, two varieties of frogs were discovered which swallow their eggs and suspend the acid production in the stomach so that it functions as an analog uterus.
Finally, the young frogs would be born out of the mouth of the mother. As soon as this fact became known, these frogs disappeared and have never been found again. Some of the brightly colored frogs in Costa Rica have suffered the same fate. Nowadays you may see only the sad remains of these frogs in museums, preserved in formaldehyde.