The Glass Frog

Doodlewash of Glass Frog - translucent frog in watercolor lime green

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


Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
  1. moonskittles 7 years ago

    I saw one of them when I was visiting the Amazon jungle. They are incredibly transparent and this is such a clever drawing.
    ~ Dajena 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Dajena! 😃 How cool to have visited the Amazon…I bet that was amazing! Glad you liked my frog doodlewash!

      • moonskittles 7 years ago

        😀 Yes it was! I am looking forward to drawing better..

  2. Mama Cormier 7 years ago

    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.

    • Author must be a weird sign of some kind to suddenly be surrounded by glass frogs!! No idea what it would mean though…hehe… Thanks so much!! 😃💕

  3. mgshepard 7 years ago

    I like info like that about different creature on our planet, thanks for sharing

  4. Kari 7 years ago

    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! ❤️😜

    • Author

      Thanks Kari!! 😃💕 hehe…this one was so weird there was much more to investigate but I never have the time. Kind of brings new meaning to the term exhibitionist though! Lol

  5. Jodi 7 years ago

    Great job Charlie O! He looks like he is saying, “Hey – what are you looking at? Back off! It’s kinda personal stuff!” 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Jodi!!😃💕Haha! He does…but if you’re going to put it all out there like that, you have to expect this sort of attention!

  6. He looks a little stoned to me lol but still so darned CUTE!!! Charlie, you are the King of Cute! <3

    • Author

      Awww thanks Laura!! 😃💜haha…He may be stoned! I honestly don’t know! My research was brief so I didn’t get to the part about his recreational habits. Lol

  7. Jacob 7 years ago

    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.

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob! Yeah…it’s just odd on a frog, but on a human it would be creepy as hell! Lol But then again it would be much easier to diagnose health problems and probably promote healthier eating habits when you could actually see what’s happening to you. Lol

  8. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    Beautiful transparency, that must have been a bit tricky to paint. Just splendid Charlie!

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon!! 😃💕 It was super tricky…I just liked the colors and didn’t realize how tough he’d be. 😊 Glad you like it!!

  9. Snehal Kank 7 years ago

    Ohh boy you got that translucent effect 👍🏼 really an amazing creature! 🐸

  10. S. A. Smith, Author 7 years ago

    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.

  11. Teri C 7 years ago

    Isn’t nature grand?! You can’t even make this stuff up. Amazing!

  12. Jill Kuhn 7 years ago

    I wonder if the the glass is half full or empty with this frog?! Lol! 💙🐸 Just my weird sense of humor … Awesome doodlewash Charlie!!! 🎨💖🌈👍🐸

    • Author

      Don’t you mean is the frog half full or half empty? 😉haha…a brand new expression to use in our daily conversations. Love it!! Thanks Jill!! 😃💕💕

  13. M. L. Kappa 7 years ago

    So this is a bit like that transparent fish, the X-Ray Tetra, or whatever it was called? Fascinating!

  14. babybluesnowflake 7 years ago

    Wow! Awesom frog! And love how you recreated the translucency of this amazing frog in your doodlewash.

    • Author

      Awww thanks!! It’s always fun and then scary challenging to try translucency. Glad you liked how it turned out!! 😃😃

  15. Jui 7 years ago

    amazing details! Really love this one!

  16. So so cute, and great colour use to get his transparency …plus I think pink and green are a lovely combo, especially when used in the shades you have used here. One of my fav colour duos

    • Author

      Thanks Rebecca! 😃💕 I agree! I really did that color combo and never get much of a chance to use it. So I just had to doodlewash this guy! Hehe

  17. Rebecca 7 years ago

    If only Cinderella had had to kiss a frog – this would surely be the one! Love the translucence you’ve achieved here. 🙂

    • Author

      Awww thanks Rebecca!! 😃💕 Glad you liked this! But then that leaves one question… does her resulting prince still have a see-through stomach? 😳lol Yikes!!

  18. Kathrin 7 years ago

    What an interesting creature andawesome doodlewash! I really love your march series Charlie!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Kathrin!! 😃 💕I’m really enjoying the discovery in this month’s adventure. Though some of these creatures are super challenging!! 😊hehe

  19. kim881 7 years ago

    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.

    • Author

      Thanks Kim! 😃💕 And I can’t imagine an invasion…that would freak me out, but one or two is okay. Hehe… but that story is amazing!! Haha! Perfect names for two frogs on the run! Love it!

  20. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Green bones! I like that. No need for the “visible frog” model with this one…and absolutely you are the King of Cute. (K)

    • Author

      Haha…no need at all! And don’t even have to dissect the poor guy for study, just look! Thanks Kerfe! 😃💕 I’m determined to find the cute in all these weird creatures. Hehe

  21. Carol 7 years ago

    Such a beauty! I am thoroughly enjoying this series and am discovering so many creatures I have never heard of. I love his coloring, especially those feet/toes and eyes. 👀

    • Author

      Awww thanks Carol! 😃💕I’m so happy you like this series! These creatures are pretty fun to find and doodlewash. I hadn’t even heard of a transparent frog before! hehe

  22. Susan Feniak 7 years ago

    Cool 🙂

  23. Tom Merriman 7 years ago

    Scandalous, Charlie, frogs showing off innards like that! These new animals are fun!

  24. Kathy Simmons 7 years ago

    Love this little delicate creature Charlie and all frogs in general! Such beautiful watercolor creations!

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much Kathy!! 😃I’m glad you enjoyed this one. Some weird creatures in my series this month. I hadn’t even heard of these frogs before! 😊hehe

  25. itsmyhusbandandme 7 years ago

    Love this guy and his little suckers!

  26. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    Once again, your write-up is awesome, topped by this gem: “a scandalous view of its liver, heart and intestines”! 😀 You did this handsome fellow justice! I love him! <3

  27. Cathe 7 years ago

    Wow this is such a cool frog and rendering Charlie. We have frogs all over the place in the summer and they are really joyful little critters! Yours is brilliant and see-through!

    • Author

      Thanks Cathe! 😃I love frogs… and had never seen an invisible one before so it was a really fun challenge to doodlewash!

  28. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    Awesome painting. I’m very much enjoying my journey through your strange animal adventures in painting!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      hehe! Glad you’re enjoying the journey! This was a fun month!! 😃💕

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