Frog of the Week

Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)

photo by Clinton & Charles Robertson

Common Name: American Green Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla cinerea
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Location: United States  – Alabama, Arkansas, Washington DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia
Introduced Location: Puerto Rico
Size: 1.25 – 2.5 inches (3.2 – 6 cm)

The American Green Tree Frogs are native to the Southern United States and have become an introduced species in Puerto Rico. The Green Tree Frog is easy to identify against the other tree frogs in the south due to the white line that runs down their side. They are the state frog of Georgia and Louisiana.

The American Green Tree Frog is commonly found in the pet trade, but can be confused with the Australian Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea).  The Australian species can grow almost twice as long as the American one so knowing which species you are buying is important for proper husbandry. The Australian species lacks a white stripe down its side.

The Green Tree Frog breeds from spring into early fall. Breeding for the frog is pretty typical. Males migrate down from the trees to ponds to start calling to attract females. Once the females arrive and pick a mate, the two embrace in amplexus. The female will then lay her eggs and the male will fertilize them. Neither provides any parental care for the eggs or tadpoles.

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