Tag Archives: Frogs in Spain

Stripeless treefrog – Hyla meridionalis – Ranita meridional

  • English: Stripeless Tree frog
  • Scientific: Hyla meridionalis
  • Spanish: Ranita Meridional
  • French: rainette méridionale
  • German: Mittelmeer-Laubfrosch
  • Italian: Raganella mediterranea
  • Portuguese: Rela-meridional
  • Distribution: Southern France, northern Italy, southern Portugal, Spain (from Catalonia to Andalucia), Menorca, and Madeira. It can also be found in Garajonay National Park, on the island of La Gomera.
  • Similar species: Iberian tree frog (Hyla molleri) – Ranita de San Antonio. This tree frog (formally the European tree frog – Hyla arborea) has now been recognised as its own species and is known as Hyla molleri. Also known as the Iberian tree frog or Moller’s tree frog (See below for more information).

Description

The Stripeless treefrog – Hyla meridionalis – Ranita meridional is a small frog (usually no more than 5cm (2 inches) in length). The skin is very smooth and shiny, light green in colour which camouflages perfectly among the vegetation. The head is broad and rounded with prominent eyes and a dark stripe from the nostril to behind the eardrum. sometimes reffered to as the Mediterranean tree frog, it is a very agile climber due to adhesive disks on the end of each digit.

Stripeless treefrog - Hyla meridionalis – Ranita meridional
Stripeless treefrog – Hyla meridionalis – Ranita meridional

As the name suggests this frog doesn’t have the dark stripes down the side of body and legs that the Iberian tree frog (Hyla molleri) has.

Habits and diet

Activity is restricted to the twilight hours or night time and they prefer damp meadows and wetlands or scrub next to quiet rivers where they hide in thick vegetation. Tree frogs eat a variety of small arthropods such as spiders, flies, beetles, butterflies, and caterpillars. Their ability to jump large distances also allows them to catch flying insects.

larvae feed on detritus, found on the pond bottom or any other vegetable or animal existing in the water.

Breeding

Breeding takes place in permanent ponds, flooded fields, ditches and streams with low flow. In the mating season the males will go to the water edge to sing, especially between February and April. The female will lay from 400 to 1000 eggs in the water in small packages, attached them to submerged plants.

Depending on the water temperature, the eggs hatch between two and nine days. Afterwards, the tadpoles develop for forty-six to ninety days, being able, in exceptional cases, to overwinter in the larval stage.

Iberian tree frog – Hyla molleri – Ranita de San Antonio

The San Antón or San Antonio frog (Hyla molleri) was considered a subspecies of Hyla arborea (European tree frog) until molecular phylogeny studies showed that it was a distinct species .

Hyla molleri, also known as the Iberian tree frog or Moller's tree frog
Hyla molleri, also known as the Iberian tree frog or Moller’s tree frog – The striped tree frog 🙂

This new species is only distributed to the Atlantic southwest of France and the western Iberian Peninsula reaching the south of Portugal, and the west and north of Andalusia. From the east it reaches Albacete, Cuenca, Teruel and Huesca.

Hybridization

In the areas of contact with the Hyla meridionalis such as theTiétar Valley, the Sierra Morena, Badajoz and Guipúzcoa, hybrids sometimes occur but these have been found to be sterile and no breeding of hybrids have ever been recorded.


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