Frog of the Week

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

Spring Peeper

Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Location: United States and Canada
US Locations: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Introduced Locations: Cuba
Size: 0.75 to 1.25 inches (19.05 – 31.75 mm)

The Spring Peeper lives throughout the Eastern United States and southeastern Canada. It is one of the first frogs to start breeding after the snow melts in the northern parts of its range. Therefore, its call has been a sign of spring, hence the name. It has a x on its back which makes it easy to identify. The Spring Peeper belongs to the tree frog family – Hylidae, but they don’t live in the trees. They live on the ground amongst the vegetation. Due to their size and coloration, they can be hard to find outside of breeding season.

Spring Peeper
photo by Well Tea

Spring Peeper Reproduction

Peepers in the south breed much before spring, starting in December or January. The males call from the vegetation at the edges of ponds. Vernal ponds are a great place to find Spring Peepers breeding. The frogs breed in the ponds. Once the female arrives, the male grasps the female from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them The female lays around 700 eggs at a time. Neither parent will provide any parental care. Tadpoles take around three months to complete their metamorphism.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Spring Peeper as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and are thought to be abundant throughout it. To make sure the Spring Peeper stays around, we need to protect and conserve more wetlands.

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