|Eastern Gray Treefrog
Relatively large for a
treefrog, the eastern gray is 1.25-2.5 inches
long; both sexes are the same size.
Eastern gray treefrogs range
in color from greenish or brownish to gray and
adults have several large, dark blotches on their
backs. Green colors are more prominent during the
breeding season and in yearling frogs, and
coloration tends to become darker when it is cold
or dark. There is usually a white mark beneath
the eye. The ventral skin on the hind legs, in
the groin region, may appear orange to golden
yellow with black speckles and the belly is
The range of the eastern gray treefrog extens
from Manitoba east to Maine and south to northern
Florida and central Texas. Its habitat includes
swamps, ponds, lakes, old fields, thickly wooded
suburban neighborhoods, farm woodlots, and mixed
or deciduous forests, as long as there is
permanent water in the area. During the summer
months, they are most often found in damp rotten
logs or hollow trees. In winter, gray treefrogs
hibernate on land under woody debris such as
logs, roots and leaf litter.
As tadpoles, eastern gray treefrogs graze on
algae and detritus in their pond. Adults prey
upon most types of insects and their larvae.
Mites, spiders, plant lice, harvestmen, and
snails are also eaten. They usually hunt for
insects and larvae in the understory of wooded
areas in small trees and shrubs, but like most
frogs they are opportunitistic and may also eat
smaller frogs, including other tree frogs.
Breeding season runs from April to August.
Males will gather in trees and bushes next to
breeding ponds and swamps and begin calling.
Warm, cloudy nights, from dusk to midnight,
produce the most intense choruses. The male will
aggressively defend its territory from intruders.
The female selects a mate based on its call.
Fertilization of the eggs is external. As many as
2,000 eggs are laid at one time. Almost
immediately, the large egg mass breaks into
small, loose egg clusters of 10 to 40 eggs that
attach to plants or other structures within the
pond. Female investment in her offspring ends
once the eggs are deposited.
Depending on the water temperature, the
tadpoles hatch in three to seven days. The
tadpoles are small (1,25-1.5 inches long) and
somewhat fishlike in appearance. The background
color is light green to yellow and heavy black
dots are scattered along the margin on a red or
orange background across the tail. They
metamorphosize into froglets in six to eight
weeks. The young frogs are approximately 0.6
inches long. Gray treefrogs are almost always
bright green right after metamorphosis, and they
stay this way for some time before taking on
their adult coloration.
genus & species Hyla versicolor
Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hyla_versicolor/
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