gray treefrog

(Hyla versicolor)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

gray treefrog

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Forest edges, wooded areas near permanent or temporary waters. Near street lamps and lighted buildings at night.

Lifespan

Unknown. Probably 5 to 7 years.

Size

1¼ to 2

          Photo by Bill Reynolds

Identification

This is a small, solitary, nocturnal frog. It is 1¼ to 2 long at maturity. Females are larger than males.

The upper (dorsal) surface is warty. There are usually dark blotches outlined in black. The background color can change in seconds from green, light grayish-green, gray, brown, or dark brown. The color is determined by the color of the background, the season, and the humidity. It is most often some shade of gray. There is usually a large, irregular, dark blotch on the back. Beneath each eye there is a large spot, white and prominent on males, olive and less noticeable on females.

The belly is white. On females the chin is pale olive-gray. On males the chin is darker gray.

The toes end in large adhesive pads. On males, the lower (ventral) side of the hind legs is bright yellow or yellowish-orange.

 
Voice

A slow trill lasting 1 to 3 seconds, not varying in pitch

 
Similar
Species

Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) is almost indistinguishable morphologically. The dorsal surface is not as rough and is more often unblotched. If blotched, the blotches are often not outlined in black. The only reliable ways to distinguish between the two species is by listening to their calls or examining their chromosomes under a microscope. The call of Cope's gray treefrog is a faster trill with about twice as many notes. They prefer more open habitats, including prairies and savannas.


Tadpole Food

Algae, material from dead and decaying plants and animals (detritus).

 
Adult Food

Insects, insect larvae, mites, spiders, plant lice, harvestmen, snails, and smaller frogs.

 
Life Cycle

Breeding occurs from April to July, peaking in May to June. After breeding, the female will deposit 450 to 600 packets of 30 to 40 eggs each on emergent vegetation at the surface of a shallow pond or a permanent or temporary pool. The eggs hatch in about three weeks and metamorphosis occurs about four weeks later. The tadpole is about 2 long preceding metamorphosis.

Adults live 5 to 7 years. They overwinter under the shelter of a log, rock, bark, or leaf litter. They are freeze tolerant and can survive multiple freeze-thaw cycles. Glycerine is produced preventing the formation of ice crystals in vital organs.

 
Behavior

Adults are usually found high in trees, on mossy or lichen-covered fences, or sometimes in abandoned bird houses. They are rarely found on the ground except in breeding season.

During breeding season the adult’s background color is usually green.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 11, 12, 13, 14, 24, 29, 73.


Comments

Taxonomy
Gray treefrog and Cope’s gray treefrog were, until 1968, considered the same species.


Taxonomy

Superorder:

Batrachia (amphibians)

 

Order:

Anura (frogs and toads)

 

Suborder:

Neobatrachia

 

Superfamily:

Hyloidea

 

Family:

Hylidae (tree frogs)

 

Subfamily:

Hylinae

 

Tribe:

Hylini

 
Synonyms

Hyla versicolor phaeocrypta

Hyla versicolor versicolor

 
Common
Names

chameleon treefrog

common gray treefrog

eastern gray treefrog

gray treefrog


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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Bill Reynolds


  gray treefrog    

       
       
       

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  Hyla versicolor (Eastern Gray Treefrog)
Allen Chartier
 
  Hyla versicolor (Eastern Gray Treefrog)  
     
  Hyla versicolor
krloucks
 
  Hyla versicolor  
 
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Gray Treefrog

 
     

 

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Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  Gray Treefrog & Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor & Hyla chrysoscelis)
WisCBMnetwork
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 30, 2012

No description available.

 
     
  Gray treefrog calling
TSTPtv
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 13, 2013

Did you ever want to know what a Gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) sounds like?

 
     
  Gray/Grey treefrog (Hyla versicolor) calling: Video
Ryan M. Bolton
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 23, 2007

Gray treefrog calling.
Filmed and edited by Ryan M. Bolton, MSc

 
     
  Eastern gray treefrog calling
HerpNet
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 20, 2009

Eastern gray treefrog calling

 
     

 

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Bill Reynolds
6/22/2013

Location: Pennington Co., MN

gray treefrog


     
     
 

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