Red-eyed tree frogs are always in the Christmas spirit with their vivid red eyes and bright green bodies. They’re also arboreal, meaning they spend most of their lives up in the trees (Christmas trees?!). But what exactly are those red eyes for? Well, during the day the frog actually keeps its eyes closed to try and blend in with the green foliage. However, if it gets startled it will open its peepers up mighty quickly in an attempt to scare the predator half to death. I’m sure that wouldn’t make for a great Christmas.
image credit: alice44.tumblr.com
image credit: bbc.co.uk Habitat: Northern Pacific Ocean & rivers discharging into it Status: Least Concern
“I’ll be home for Christmas” – if it’s mating season. The Sockeye Salmon spawn in streams having lakes nearby. Young fish, called fry, will hang out for up to three years in the freshwater lake before journeying back to the ocean. Some never want to leave, and spend their whole lives in the lake (I don’t blame them, who really wants to grow up)? Those fish that do migrate spend from 1-4 years in salt water, and therefore are around 4-6 years old when they return to spawn in the summer (July-August)… Christmas in July!? It’s not really understood how the fish find their way back to the streams but some think it’s done using the characteristic smell of the stream, and possibly the sun.
It seems as if Red-masked Parakeets are a favorite Christmas present to give. It has been the tenth most common Neotropical parrot imported into the USA with over 26,000 parakeets checked in from 1981 to 1985. Due to so many of these beautiful creatures being taken from their already limited range, it was reclassified from least concern to near threatened in 1994. There are now several feral populations from escaped birds, especially in Spain, California, Florida, and Hawaii.
image credit: Stephen Begin Habitat: North & Central America Status:No conservation concerns
The Red-banded Leafhopper is also commonly known as the Candy-striped Leafhopper, which really puts me in the mood for candy canes. They feed on plant sap with specialized mouthparts so apparently they have a major sweet tooth as well! They’re only about 7-8 mm in length.
I have a confession: I love animals. Join me and the rest of the Featured Creature community as we learn about the weirdest, coolest, and craziest animals out there. Including your dog, Mr. Scrufflebutt (if you submit him!).