Creepy Times - Common Tree Frog
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Rahul Alvares
2014-10-16 15:21:35 UTC
Common Tree Frog (*Rhacophorus maculatus*)

Average length: 2-3 inches

Some months ago my youngest brother Milind came up with an unusual request.
"If you can release these two sticky frogs far away from the house, I?ll
update your website," he said to me.

His request requires some explanation. The ?sticky frog? he was referring
to is the common tree frog. At any given time, two or three of these frogs
are in residence in our house. They often hide inside mugs and other
utensils in the kitchen or dining room, and give my family a real fright
when they pick up one of these items and a frog comes shooting out of it.
Even when the frog doesn?t pull a ?Jack-in-the-box," it leaves my family
with extremely distasteful feelings when they realize that they very nearly
took a sip out of a cup with a live frog sitting inside. Sometimes it is a
trouser you?re about to step into that habors this slimy amphibian
inside. Yuck!

You?ve probably figured out that Milind is the designer of my website. As
it turns out he had been sitting on some work I had asked him to do for a
very long time. And I guess since he refuses to accept any money from me
for maintaining my website he feels fully entitled to make such strange
requests of me from time to time!

I didn?t have to think about his request. It was a win-win situation for me
since I dislike having the frogs around in the kitchen almost as much as he
does! I grabbed the frogs with a cloth since I?m queasy about handling
their slimy bodies with my bare hands, and put them inside a moist bag. The
next morning I released them close to a pond a few kilometers away from our

My brother updated my website immediately after and a new set of tree frogs
took up residence in my house a few days later! But despite my distaste
feelings encountering them around the dining table, I see no reason to get
rid of them. I might need some work done on my website again!

The common tree frog comes in a variety of colors including brown, yellow,
gray or white. What?s more is that this species has the ability to change
its colour to a certain extent to blend in with its surroundings. They
survive in relatively drier environments by wiping themselves with skin
secretions consisting of mucus and lipids that help in reducing moisture
loss. When temperatures are higher, they secrete from the skin ("sweat"),
pant, and adopt lighter skin colors.

*Reptiles and Amphibians of India *mentions that ?this species often enters
houses where it finds the atmosphere of bathrooms congenial.?

The book also mentions that the Tamil name of this frog is Therai and that
"it is believed that if it lands on a child the legs and hips of the child
will become as slender and presumably as weak as that of the frog?s." Yikes!