Frog of the Week

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)


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: .75 to 1.25 inches (19.05 – 31.75 mm)

The Spring Peeper is a common frog throughout the Eastern United States. 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 is a member of the tree frog family, but they aren’t found in the trees. They are found on the ground among the vegetation. Due to their size and coloration, they can be hard to find outside of breeding season.

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

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