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Green Treefrog

Hyla cinerea

The bright coloring of the green treefrog serves as effective camouflage against predators. (tgpotterfield/Flickr)
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The bright coloring of the green treefrog serves as effective camouflage against predators. (tgpotterfield/Flickr)

The green treefrog is a small amphibian that can be found in ponds, lakes, marshes and streams.

Appearance:

  • Reaches 1 ¼ to 2 ½ inches long
  • Females tend to be larger than males
  • Color varies from bright green to greenish gray or yellow green on back, with white or cream-colored stomach
  • Yellow or white stripes may run down the sides of its body
  • Gold spots may appear on its back
  • Sticky toe pads on long toes are used for gripping

Habitat:

  • Often found in ponds, lakes, marshes and streams
  • Prefers to live in areas with a lot of floating vegetation and grasses
  • Most active at night. Sleeps during the day in moist, shady areas, like the undersides of leaves

Range:

  • Found in the central to southeastern United States, from Maryland and Delaware to the southern tip of Florida and as far west as central Texas

Feeding:

  • Consume small insects and other invertebrates like crickets, moths and flies
  • Can often be found clinging to windows or walls, trying to feed on insects that are attracted to light

Predators:

  • Predators include snakes, lizards, birds and large fish
  • Coloring serves as effective camouflage

Voice:

  • Green treefrogs use a variety of calls to communicate, including mating calls, alarm calls and rain calls
  • Some have compared the green treefrog’s call to a metallic honk or barking dog
  • Call is loudest during damp weather

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

  • Breeds from March to October in warmer areas in from April to September in milder climates
  • Hundreds and sometimes thousands of males gather together at a breeding site and call out to attract the attention of females
  • Female lays approximately 400 eggs, hidden among aquatic vegetation
  • Males fertilize the eggs once they are laid
  • About five days after fertilization, eggs hatch. Eight to ten weeks after hatching, tadpoles develop front and rear legs. Once legs become fully functional, green treefrogs leave the water and venture onto land
  • Captive green treefrogs can live up to 6 years

Other Facts:

  • The coloring of the green treefrog may appear brighter yellow when it is calling and a duller green or gray when it is resting.
  • Because they call loudest during damp weather, green treefrogs are believes to be a good indicator of rain.

Sources and Additional Information:


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