Today we have a truly uncommon creature in the form of a see-through frog. This strange little amphibian, often referred to as a glass frog, comes in 60 different varieties and is most notable for its translucent skin that allows a rather immodest view of all its internal organs. From underneath, you can catch a scandalous view of its liver, heart and intestines. Living in southern Mexico, Central and South America, glass frogs prefer a tropical life in the lush rainforests, usually high in the treetops above the water. Certain species of glass frogs, however, are endangered due to habitat loss.

It is thought by scientists that these creatures evolved with invisible skin to act as a form of camouflage. Since they are typically high in the trees, looking up at bits of organs rather than seeing an actual frog is somewhat confusing for predators. Many species have white bones, but some sport green bones which add a little extra to the show when viewed through the skin. Unlike many other frogs, these little guys have eyes that face forward rather than to sides, giving them a unique appearance.

Glass frogs are night owls and like to sleep during the day and hit the town at night. Males have rather strong territorial instincts and get a little ticked if another male enters their breeding territory. To warn off the unwanted suitor, the frog makes a super strange, low intensity sound. If that doesn’t work, the frog jumps around wildly on top of the intruder until it gets the message and goes away. After a successful mating session, the female lays 20 to 30 eggs, which are also transparent removing all need for a sonogram. Don’t forget to mention an uncommon creature you’d like to see doodlewashed in the comments!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Azo Yellow, Permanent Green Pale, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Sennelier L’aqaurelle: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

62 replies on “The Glass Frog

  1. We have a new book in the Library at my school called Weird Frogs and there’s a photo of this frog in there. I had never heard of them before never mind seen a photo and then a painting in the same month. Very good likeness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, here’s a creature with nothing to hide! What an amazing creature-and green bones. I wonder what gives it the green hue.. More to investigate! Thanks, Charlie! ❤️😜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well he is clearly the king of kooky! How fascinatingly weird and unsettling… imagine if we had skin like tha.. oh no that’s even more unpleasant. That translucency is expertly pulled off here! Marvellous job.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was curious about the size of this frog. Here’s what I found. Size of glass frogs depends on the species. Smaller species are usually 0.78 inches long. Larger species can reach 3 inches in length. Thanks for sharing this tiny creature’s story, Charlie. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fabulous frog! We used to get invaded by tiny frogs and newts every summer but I have seen them for a few years. When I was at school, a friend and I liberated from the biology laboratory a pair of frogs we named Bonny and Clyde.

    Liked by 1 person

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