tree frog thursday

Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)

photo by Todd Pierson

Common Name: Northern Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris crepitans
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Location: United States – New York, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky
Size: 1.3 inches or 3.5 cm

While the Northern Cricket Frog is a member of the tree frog, it doesn’t live in the trees. It spends its time around the pond and marshes that they breed in. Their call sounds like clicking of some pebbles. Breeding is from March to July depending on localities.

The Northern Cricket Frog and the Blanchard Cricket Frog (Acis blanchardi) were once considered the same species with the Blanchard Cricket Frog being a subspecies. They were moved to different species due to molecular testing. The Coastal Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans paludicola) is still a subspecies of the Northern Cricket Frog.

tree frog thursday

Pine Woods Tree Frog (Hyla femoralis)

photo by Jeromi Hefner; USGS

Common Name: Pine Woods Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla femoralis
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
Size: 1 – 1.5 inches (2.5 – 3.8 cm)

The Pine Woods Tree Frog can be found in pine forests hence their name but they can also be found in flatwoods and cypress marshes. They are often mistaken for Gray Tree Frogs or Bird Voiced Tree Frogs but can be differentiated due to the yellow, orange, or white spots on their inner thighs. The frog ranges in color from gray, green, and brown.

photo by Todd Pierson

Breeding takes place between March to October depending on location. The frogs come down from the trees to ponds and pools. The males start to call to attract a mate. The frog has been nicknamed the Morse Code Frog due to their call. Once the female selects a mate, the male will grasp the female from behind in amplexus. The female will then lay her eggs and the male will fertilize them. The female lays between 800 to 2,000 eggs. Eggs hatch in generally a day and the tadpoles complete their metamorphosis in 50 – 75 days. Neither parent provides any care for their offspring.

tree frog thursday

Bird Voiced Tree Frog (Hyla avivoca)

Bird Voiced Tree Frog – photo by Todd Pierson

least concern
Common Name: Bird Voiced Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla avivoca
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog Family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee
Female Size: 2 inches (53 mm)
Male Size: 1.5 inches (38 mm)

The Bird Voiced Tree Frog is named for its call that people say sounds like a bird whistle.  It appears very similar to the Eastern Gray Tree Frog and the Cope’s Gray Tree Frog but it doesn’t have any orange coloration on their legs. In Illinois, the frog is listed as threatened.

The breeding season starts in April for the southern populations and in May for the northern populations. Breeding lasts throughout the summer. Males will start to call in trees or other vegetation above the water. Females will approach calling males and the males will initiate amplexus. The females will carry the males down to the water and lay her eggs there. The larval phase of the frogs takes just a month.





tree frog thursday

Barking Tree Frog (Hyla gratiosa)

photo by wikiuser Fredlyfish4

least concern

Common Name: Barking Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla gratiosa
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia
Size: 2.75 inches (70 mm)

The Barking Tree Frog gets its name from the male’s call that sounds like a dog’s bark. It is found along the coast from Louisiana up to New Jersey, though they are probably extinct there. While they are a tree frog, they do come down from the trees to breed, hibernate, and to aestivate. The frogs will dig deep into the sandy soils during the dry summer to prevent themselves from drying out. They also burrow down during winter to escape the cold and they will use other burrows of other animals, such as the Gopher Tortoise, for overwintering.

During the mating season, the males will travel to water bodies to breed. They breed in a variety of shallow water bodies from temporary ponds to streams. The breeding season changes from location to location but is from spring to summer or summer to late summer.The females lay between 1,500–4,000 eggs during mating and then the male and female leave the eggs to fend for themselves.

tree frog thursday

Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris feriarum)

photo by Todd Pierson

least concern
Common Name: Upland Chorus Frog and Southeastern Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris feriarum
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky,  Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia
Size: 0.75 – 1.5 in. (1.9 – 3.8 cm)

The taxonomy of the Upland Chorus Frog can be confusing. It used to be considered a subspecies of the Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) before it became its own species. Now, it is considered part of the Nigrita clade with the Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita), Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata), New Jersey Chorus Frog (Pseudacris kalmi), Spotted Chorus Frog (Pseudacris clarkii), and the Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata). 

While the Upland Chorus Frog is part of the Tree Frog family, it doesn’t actually live in trees at all. Most of its time is spend on the forest floor. The breeding season of the frog varies depending on the latitude of where they are. More southern populations start their breeding season at the start of winter, while northern populations start at the start of spring. This time is the best time to spot a Chorus Frog because they can be really hard to find. They prefer mating in shallow, temporary bodies of water, where the female lays up to 1000 eggs. The eggs take a few days to hatch while they complete their metamorphism in two months.

tree frog thursday

Hourglass Tree frog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus)

photo by Adam G. Clause

least concern
Common Name: Hourglass Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Dendropsophus ebraccatus
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog Family
Locations: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama
Size: .9 – 1 inch (23 – 26.75 mm)

The Hourglass Tree Frog is a arboreal species of frog, but they come down to the ground to breed. The breeding season is during the wet season, generally from May to November. The males of the species call vegetation hanging over the ponds made during the wet season rains. There are several different calls that the males make. They perform advertising calls for the female frogs while also performing aggressive and defensive calls at other males nearby. The frog is interesting in the fact that the females are able to lay the eggs in the water or up in the trees. The female chooses which habitat would be best for the eggs to survive in due to risks from predators.

tree frog thursday

Mountain Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brachyphona)

Mountain Chorus Frog
Mountain Chorus Frog  – photo by Todd Pierson
least concern

Common Name: Mountain Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris brachyphona
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania
Size: 1 – 1.25 inches (2.5 – 3.1 cm)

The Mountain Chorus Frog is found in and around the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States. They are a terrestrial species of tree frog. The frogs spend most of their time on the ground, instead of in trees like most tree frogs. Their key identification feature is an inward facing parenthesis on their back, looking something like this )(. No other frogs have this symbol.

The frogs start breeding when they wake up from their hibernation generally around late February and early March in the central Appalachian range. In Alabama, they breed from December to April. The males call sounds like reeking sound. They will start calling in shallow, temporary ponds. The females will arrive to the pond and the male will grasp her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female will lay her eggs and the male will fertilize them. Females can lay 300 to 1500 eggs in a clutch. No parental care has been reported. The eggs hatch in 7-10 days and the tadpoles undergo metamorphosis in a month or two.

While only listed a Least Concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, they are disappearing from some parts of their range. The most likely for the declines is habitat loss due to urban development. Better conservation of wetlands is needed to protect the frog and all frogs around the world.

tree frog thursday

Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)

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:  1.25 inches (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. 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.

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.