The Cuban treefrog has sticky skin secretions that can be extremely irritating to the mucous membranes of people. The secretions can cause a burning and itching sensation that can sometimes last for more than an hour. It can also be a nuisance to people because of its many abundant hiding places, consistent food sources, and adequate breeding sites that are many times provided by human dominated landscapes where populations may become quite dense. The standard of living may be lowered in areas where the Cuban treefrog prospers. For example, this species has been found in toilet bowls and has clogged drains. The mating calls of male Cuban treefrogs can be an annoyance as well (Johnson, 2007). The Cuban treefrog may also be a vector of pathogens (Hedges et al, 2008). Studies suggest that this species has the potential to inflict substantial monetary and ecological damage on the habitat that it invades (Owen, 2005). Adults are predators to native animals in areas of invasion, but larvae can also be threatening. Cuban treefrogs as tadpoles will prey on heterospecific anuran larvae, which may reduce the survivorship of these heterospecific tadpoles (Smith, 2005a).
Location Specific Impacts:
Modification of hydrology: Osteopilus septentrionalis is believed to contaminate water, especially cisterns (Anguilla National Trust, 2007).
Reduction in native biodiversity: The Cuban tree frog may have possible effects on native lizards and arthropods, though this has yet to be evaluated (Townsend et al., 2000 in Varnham, 2006).
Modification of hydrology: Osteopilus septentrionalis has become a problem in the West Indies due to its invasion of drinking water tanks, cisterns, and toilet vent pipes (Bomford, Kraus, Braysher et al, 2005).
Saint Barthelemy (Saint Barthélemy)
Predation: Osteopilus septentrionalis consumes a wide variety of prey (snails, spiders, insects, amphibians, lizards). The species behaves like a hyper-predator and competes with native species (Breuil & Ibéné, 2004). The dramatic decline in poulations of the Martinique hylode (see Eleutherodactylus martinicensis in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) at Anse des Cayes between 1996 and 2000 is probably due to predation by this tree frog, which actually consumes hylodes (Breuil, pers. Comm., 2000).
Saint Martin (France)
Predation: Osteopilus septentrionalis consumes a wide variety of prey (snails, spiders, insects, amphibians, lizards). The species behaves like a hyper-predator and competes with native species (Breuil & Ibéné, 2004).
Florida (USA) (United States (USA))
Economic/Livelihoods: Osteopilus septentrionalis is known to get into transformer boxes and electrical switches, which can sometimes cause short-circuits, which increases the maintenance costs for electrical utility companies as well as power to some customers in Florida (Johnson, 2007).
Predation: Osteopilus septentrionalis is a voracious predator as well as cannibalistic. Tadpoles are known to eat other tadpoles that are native to Florida. This species also preys on native Bufo terrestris, Gastrophryne carolinensis, Rana spenocephala, Hyla cinerea, H. v. versicolor and H. squirella in Florida (Bomford, Kraus, Braysher et al, 2005).
Reduction in native biodiversity: Competition, predation and ecosystem change could be responsible for the declines of some native anurans in South Florida, which is directly correlated with the introduction of Osteopilus septentrionalis (Bomford, Kraus, Braysher et al, 2005).
Virgin Islands, USA
Reduction in native biodiversity: Osteopilus septentrionalis is increasing in abundance across the United States Virgin Islands, and there is evidence that suggest that in the locations where it is well-established, the native frogs are decreasing (Platenberg & Boulon, 2006)