Amazon Milk Tree Frog

Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo


In the Zoo
2.5- 3 inches
3-4 inches
1-2 pounds
7 years

Geographic Range

Northern areas of South America (Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Trinidad, Tobago, French Guiana, British Guyana, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela).

Scientific Information

Scientific Name:
Trachycephalus resinifictrix

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Activity Time Frame:
Sexual Dimorphism:
60 days gestation, 8 month incubation Lifespan in the Wild: 70+ years
Lifespan in the Wild:
8 years
Lifespan in Captivity:
8 years


Least Concerned
Habitat destruction due to expansion of human settlements and agriculture. Losses from logging disturbances. Over harvesting for local consumption and the exotic pet trade.


These frogs are light grayish in color with brown or black banding. Juveniles show stronger contrast which fades somewhat with maturity. Skin also becomes somewhat bumpy as they age.

Species Specifics

This species was previously within the genus Phrynohyas. However it was synonymised with Trachycephalus after the extensive revision of the family Hylidae in 2005.

Physical Characteristics

This species is sometimes called the mission golden eyed-tree frog for its golden iris, with a black Maltese cross centered on the pupil. It is also known as the boatman frog, "sapo canoeiro", because its croaks, which sounds like oars against the side of a canoe.



Above or near slow-moving water in humid rainforest regions.


Rarely recorded, probably because of its arboreal habits.


Adults will consume almost any type of small arthropod they can overpower and swallow.

Ecological Web

This frog inhabits the canopy of tropical primary rainforests, where they breed in tree cavities and may seldom, if ever, descend to the ground. It reproduces in tree cavities and it is characterized by loud vocalization.

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

Like most reptiles, activity is temperature dependent, preferring conditions that are moist, humid, and warm. Ideal temperature is 80-95°F and they are more active during rainy periods and immediately after it has rained. During drought, turtles may spend time in burrows and in excessive heat turtles will seek out shallow pools of water to soak in. In fall months turtles are observed basking in the sunlight for energy. In Northern climates turtles will enter hibernation in late October. In places like Florida, turtles are active year around.


The gecko will lick its eye to clean it from dust and other particles.

Social Behavior

Amazon Milk Frogs do great in groups. Overly amorous males may harass females on occasion, but Amazon Milk Frogs typically coexist peacefully in groups

Reproductive Behavior

Maturity is reached at 7 years, however, fewer than 10% of hatchlings will survive. Beginning at 7 to 8 years of age, box turtles will begin to sexually mature. Mating begins in the spring as soon as animals emerge from winter hibernation. Males extend their limbs and neck as long as possible in a display to potential mates. During copulation, the male wedges his feet into the females shell and remains attached to the female for several hours and may be dragged along behind her as she moves about.


There is no fixed reproduction period. The females will lay about 2000 eggs in water captured within leaves or trees. The tadpoles hatch after one day. Only three weeks later, metamorphosis is completed.



Three-Toed Box Turtles are not considered endangered at the national level in the United States, Canada or Mexico, although several U.S. states, including Michigan, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut, list T. carolina as a species of special concern. It is considered endangered in Maine. IUCN: VulnerableCITES: Appendix II


Due to a widespread, consistent and persistent decline of the species, the ICUN considers the Box Turtle to be a Vulnerable Species. The decline is associated with anthropogenic causes, or manmade causes centering on urbanization. Agricultural use of pesticides within a shared water shed has negatively impacted young turtle survivability due to malformed eggs. Introduction of synanthopic predator species, (species who live near and benefit mutually from human settlement and urban habitats) such as ravens, coyotes and raccoons, are increasing in numbers as humans continue to urbanize.

Current Threats

Habitat destruction due to expansion of human settlements and agriculture. Losses from logging disturbances. Over harvesting for local consumption and the exotic pet trade.

Our Role

Oakland Zoo believes that each one of us has the power to become stewards of the natural world, decrease our global footprint, and inspire others to do the same. Learn about the conservation initiatives we're pursuing at the Zoo, and find out how you can help.

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How You Can Help

Please be aware of the pets you choose to buy. Never get a pet that has been taken from the wild and never return a pet to the wild. Be aware of pesticide applications so as to not poison native animals that benefit your ecosystem. Finally, be conscious of your trash and waste so as to not attract unwanted animals such as ravens.

Fascinating Facts

Their common name, "milk frog," refers to the poisonous, white, milky secretion that this frog secretes when threatened.

The Iriquois and other Native Americans used them for food, medical, ceremonial, burial and hunting purposes.

Of all the Gerrhosaururidae lizards (Plated lizards) they are the most armored.


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