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    The Chorus of the Tree Frog: Poland’s Smallest Amphibian

    In June, Poland resonates with the chorus of its loudest amphibian, the European tree frog (Hyla arborea). Despite their vocal presence, these frogs are among the smallest in Europe, rarely exceeding 5 centimeters in length and weighing up to 15 grams.

    Characteristics and Habitat

    The tree frog’s vibrant green color, excellent for blending among leaves, combined with its ability to change hues from yellow to brown or nearly black within 20 minutes, makes it difficult to spot. A dark stripe from the nostrils through the eye to the groin, forming a “hip sinus,” is a distinct feature. Their toe pads allow them to climb vertical surfaces.

    Breeding Season

    During the breeding season from May to June, males display their vocal sacs to attract females and assert dominance. Preferring small, vegetated, temporary water bodies, females select mates based on their call and coloration. Females lay clumps of eggs that hatch into tadpoles, which mature in about 90 days.

    Conservation

    Tree frogs inhabit moist environments like river valleys, parks, and gardens. They are strictly protected and listed in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive. Preserving and creating suitable habitats is crucial for their survival, ensuring their chorus continues on warm, late spring nights.

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