Tuesday Tunes: The Whistling Tree Frogs of Bermuda
The song of the Whistling Tree Frog is one of the infamous sounds of a Bermuda night. These tiny creatures create a beautiful evening sound as they accompany the gentle breezes with their sweet symphony—all from the sound of a cent! “Gleep, gleep.”
Only about the size of a thumbnail, the tree frogs are slight in stature but big in presence. If you’re lucky enough to see one, you’ll be surprised to discover that such a big noise can come from such a small amphibian.
There are two species of Whistling Frogs (Tree Frogs) in Bermuda. The Eleutherodactylus johnstonei and Eleutherodactylus gossei, the first of the two is more common and smaller while the other has almost disappeared. Both are brownish, nocturnal, living in trees near the ground and by day hiding under stones and leaves.
They are one of the most characteristic night sounds of Bermuda between April and November. They can be heard island-wide when the weather is warm enough (above 69 degrees) but are most common in the Parishes of Devonshire, Paget, Pembroke and Warwick.
They are not indigenous – both were introduced accidentally sometime prior to 1880, most likely on orchids imported from the Lesser Antilles. They can be found elsewhere in temperate and sub-tropical regions, but mainly can be found singing loudly at night.
Here’s a snippet of the enchanting Tree Frogs’ melody. Enjoy!