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Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

Gray Tree Frog
least concern



Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
Family: Hylidae  – Tree Frog family
Locations: United States and Canada
US Locations: Alabama, Arkansas, Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Size: 2 inches (5 cm)

The Cope’s Gray Tree Frog is almost identical to the Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) besides their calls and chromosome count. Their chromosomes are diploid, having two sets. While, the Eastern Gray Tree Frog is tetraploid, having twice as many. The frogs can produce mucous secretions that are slightly toxic. Always wash your hands after handling any animal.

The frog is named after Edward Drinker Cope, the man who first described the frog to western science. Cope described a lot of different species, over a thousand living and extinct species. While the frog is named after its gray coloration, it can also be green in color.

Reproduction

The breeding season for the Cope’s Gray Tree Frog is from March to August. In the southern parts of the range, they begin to breed earlier than in the northern parts. During the season, the males descend from the trees to pools of water. They prefer fish-less bodies of water. They will call from the shallows of the water to attract the females. Once the female arrives, the male will grasp her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female will lay her eggs and the male will fertilize them. The female can lay between 1000 – 2000 eggs at a time in clutches of 20 – 40. Neither of the parents provide any parental care. The eggs hatch in a week or less. Development time is affected by temperature. Therefore, it can take the tadpoles between a month or two to complete their metamorphism.

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