Mediterranean Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis). Great Malaga Path
This is an anura (an amphibian without a tail as an adult), which is small (less than 6.5 cm in total length) and has an appearance of a smooth shiny green skinned frog. It exhibits a dark band from the nostrils or eyes to the base of the fore limbs. It has adhesive discs on the ends of the fingers (differential character), useful to climb through the vegetation. The larva (up to 4 cm in total length) has a tail with a big prominent dorsal crest, starting by the eyes and ending in a sharp point.
WHERE DOES IT LIVE (HABITAT)
It is a species with preferences for rushes, brambles, aeneas, sugar cane and shrub vegetation surrounding ponds, lagoons and river courses. It can get away from the water, as long as there is enough protective vegetation. For matings, it uses mostly temporary ponds and flooded meadows. It is a common inhabitant of artificial wetlands and streams of golf courses.
HOW DOES IT LIVE?
It is a frog with mainly dusk and nocturnal habits, although during the mating period it becomes more diurnal. Except for the breeding season, in which it goes to the water, it is a very climbing species, remaining most of the time perched on the vegetation and out from the water. In Malaga it is active practically all year round, although it can shelter in cracks or under stones in dry areas in summer. Adults diet is based on invertebrate arthropods. The larvae are basically herbivorous.
HOW DOES IT REPRODUCE?
Rutting takes place mainly from March to May, although in the Málaga province, males have been heard singing from November to July. The males form noisy choruses in the pools to attract females. During the coupling, the female can deposit several hundred eggs simultaneously fertilized by the male at the laying time. A few days later the larvae will be born; they will take about three months to become little frogs.
WHERE CAN WE SEE IT IN MALAGA AND ON THE STAGES OF THE GREAT PATH?
It is a species unequally distributed in the Malaga province. It is mainly present in the entire western coast and the valleys of Guadiaro, Guadalhorce and Vélez. It is missing in almost all the region of Antequera and the mountainous areas of the Ronda mountain range. Where it is present, it can be locally abundant. In the Great Path, we can find it on stages 2 to 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 25, 26, 29 to 32 and 35.
LEVEL OF PROTECTION - THREAT (INVENTORY)
This frog is part of the Andalusian Wildlife Species under Special Protection List. It may have disappeared in many areas due to the loss and degradation of its habitat.
The Mediterranean tree frog belongs to a family of tropical amphibians distributed throughout Australia, New Guinea and tropical America. Between more than six hundred species of this family, only two, the Mediterranean tree frog and the San Antonio's frog, are present in Europe; and in Malaga, only one of them. Frogs are distinguished from toads due to various traits. Toads are usually more clumsy, terrestrial and nocturne, with rougher skin. The frogs, on the other hand, are very agile, more aquatic and diurnal, with smoother and thinner skin. The Mediterranean tree frog is a slight exception to the general rule: it is neither aquatic nor lives on land. His special fingers allow it to exploit a different ecological niche for an amphibian: the one of the arboreal life.
SIMILAR SPECIES (IT CAN BE MISTAKEN WITH...)
The Mediterranean tree frog is the only climbing and arboreal amphibian species in Malaga. Its adult appearance, with its smooth and shiny green skin, as well as its long fingers finished in adhesive discs, make it unmistakable. The tadpoles can be confused with the young spur toad larvae, due to their globe shaped look and high caudal ridge, although the latter reach a larger size and possess a mouth with a larger beak and numerous denticles.
Routes where it can be observed
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 09. Periana - Riogordo
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 02. Rincón de la Victoria - Vélez-Málaga
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 03. Vélez-Málaga - Torrox
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 04. Torrox - Nerja
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 05. Nerja - Frigiliana
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 10. Riogordo - Alfarnate
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 12. Villanueva del Rosario - Archidona
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 13. Archidona - Villanueva de Tapia
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 25. Estación de Benaoján - Jimera de Líbar
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 26. Jimera de Líbar - Benalauría
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 29. Casares - Estepona
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 30. Estepona - Marbella
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 31. Marbella - Ojén
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 32. Ojén - Mijas
- Great Malaga Path (GR 249). Stage 35. Alhaurín de la Torre - Málaga