tree frog thursday

Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)

Southern Cricket Frog
Southern Cricket Frog – photo by Stephen Friedt
least concern

Common Name: Southern Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris gryllus
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Location: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia
Size:  0.6 – 1.25 inches (16 – 31.75 mm)

The Southern Cricket Frog is an interesting species of tree frog. They don’t spend time high up in the trees, they spend it on the ground. Due to this, they lack toe pads on their feet. They are also diurnal, active during the day, instead of nocturnal, active during the night, like many tree frogs.

They generally breed between February to October but populations in Florida do breed all year long. Surges in breeding activity follow heavy rain fall. They breed in both temporary and permanent bodies of water. Like most frogs, the males of the species start calling from the bodies of water, waiting for the females to show up. Their call sounds like marbles clicking together. Once the females select a mate, the male embraces her in an amplexus and the female lays her eggs. Females can lay up to 250 eggs. The eggs take a few days to hatch and then it takes the tadpoles around 3 months to complete metamorphism.

Southern Cricket Frog
photo by Todd Pierson

There are two subspecies of the Southern Cricket Frog: the Florida Cricket Frog (A. g. dorsalis), and the Coastal Plains Cricket Frog (A. g. gryllus). Both are similar in appear but the Florida Cricket Frog has no anal warts.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Southern Cricket Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frogs have a wide range and large population. They are also very tolerant to habitat modification. To ensure they stay listed as Least Concern, it is vital that we protect wetlands.

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