A reticulated glass frog sits on a leaf.
A reticulated glass frog sits on a leaf.
Photograph by Michael & Patricia Fogden, Minden Pictures

Reticulated Glass Frog

A small frog the length of a quarter leaps from one plant leaf to another, flaunting its little belly as it soars. The skin on the frog’s underside is see-through. So as the amphibian jumps you can view some of its internal organs, including its beating heart. This is a reticulated glass frog, a creature that has a lot of supercool secrets to reveal.

Common Name:
Reticulated Glass Frog
Scientific Name:
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi
up to 1 inch


Reticulated glass frogs can be found in the rain forests of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador. These animals, which are active at night, inhabit vegetation along streams. Males can get pretty territorial, making squeaking noises to warn trespassing frogs to stay away from their leafy hangout spots. If an intruder doesn’t leave, the frog will wrestle it to show who’s boss.

Males are also very protective of their mates’ eggs. Females lay a mass of eggs (called a clutch) on the underside of leaves, sticking them in place with a jelly-like substance. Afterward, the females leave and the males go on guard duty. They watch the eggs 24/7 until they hatch, protecting them from enemies such as wasps. The frog has even been known to kick away wasps that get too close to the egg cluster!


Scientists still aren’t sure why these frogs have see-through skin on their undersides. But they think the spotted pattern on the backs of the amphibians is meant to resemble a mass of eggs. This camouflage pattern helps the males protect their offspring by confusing predators trying to get at the clutch. Sounds like these eggs are in good webbed hands!