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Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi)

photo by Tom Johnson

Common Name: Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris blanchardi
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: United States
Size: .6 – 1.5 inches (1.6-3.8 cm)

Once considered a subspecies of the Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans), the Blanchard’s Cricket Frog has been moved to its own species. While the frog is a member of the tree frog family, it is not found high in the trees but on the ground or low scrubs. While they are a member of the family Hylidae, the Tree Frog family, cricket frogs are rarely found up in trees. They tend to stick around the forest floor.

The Blanchard’s Cricket Frog starts breeding after it awakens from its winter inactivity. It varies depending on the location of the frog. In Texas, it can start as early as February while in Wisconsin, they start calling in May. Males will move to body waters and start calling for females. Females will show up and select a mate. Once this happens, the male will grasp the female from behind in the amplexus position. The female will then lay her eggs and the males will fertilize them. The females will lay around 400 eggs after mating. Neither parent provides any parental care for their offspring. These eggs will hatch into tadpoles a few days after being laid. The tadpoles will then take 5-10 weeks to complete metamorphosis.

photo by Todd Pierson

The Blanchard’s Cricket Frog is listed as an endangered species in Wisconsin and Minnesota and threatened in Michigan. It seems the frog isn’t doing well in the northern parts of the range. Possible causes for the declines include pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change.

The frog is named after herpetologist and professor of zoology at Michigan Frank Nelson Blanchard. He described subspecies of a few different snakes.

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