Frog of the Week

Ornate Chorus Frog (Pseudacris ornata)

photo by Todd Pierson

Common Name: Ornate Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris ornata
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Location: United States – Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
Size: 1 – 1.5 inches (2.54 – 3.6 mm)

The Ornate Chorus Frog lives in pine and pine-oak woodlands of the southeastern United States. They can vary in color from gray, green, and reddish brown. Though the Ornate Chorus Frog is a member of the Tree Frog family, they rarely spend any time in the trees. The frogs spend most of their time burrowed in the ground during the day. They come up at night to eat. Also, the frogs come to the surface to breed.

Ornate Chorus Frog
photo by USGS

Their breeding season starts in November through January, depending how far north the individuals are. Once the winter rains come, the males will gather in temporary ponds created by the rains and start calling. Once the female arrives, the male will grab her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and then the male fertilizes them. The female lays 10 – 100 eggs in small clusters. Neither parent provides any parental care for the offspring. Once the eggs hatch, the tadpoles take between 3 to 4 months to complete their metamorphosis.

photo by Kevin Enge (USFWS)

The Ornate Chorus Frog is listed as Least Concern for Extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Overall, the frog is doing well. There are a few areas where they are becoming harder to find. In Alabama, they are listed as a moderate conservation concern. In North Carolina, they are listed as endangered. These listings are due to the harvesting of wood from the pine forests that the Ornate Chorus Frogs call home. These pine forests are home to a ton of beautiful creatures and need better protections.

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