Gray Tree Frog
This frog is 1.25 to 2 inches in length. Their slightly warty skin is gray, green or brown (varies depending on colors of its background as well as environmental factors such as season, temperature or humidity) with darker blotches on the back. There is a white spot below the eye and under surfaces of the hind limbs are yellow while the belly is white.
GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Range from southern Ontario and Maine south to Northern Florida, west to central Texas and northwest to Manitoba. They live in wooded areas near temporary or permanent water.
Small arthropods, especially insects.
LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Arboreal. Breeding occurs after warm spring rains. Males call to females from bushes and trees near ponds. Amplexus may last several hours, during which time the female ovulates and carries the male to water. Eggs are laid and externally fertilized. The large egg mass breaks up into packets of 10 to 40 eggs which attach to aquatic vegetation. Eggs hatch in 3 to 7 days into tadpoles that take 7 to 8 weeks to metamorphose into frogs. Life span is unknown.
Large toe pads which produce mucous to adhere to smooth bark is characteristic of the family Hylidae. In winter, tree frogs hide in rotting wood or tree crevices and survive freezing temperatures by turning their body fluids into a natural form of antifreeze (ethyleneglycol).
H.versicolor (Eastern gray tree frog) and H. chrysoscelis (Cope's graytree frog) are closely related in that H. versicolor has a double set of chromosomes (tetraploid) and evolved from H. chrysoscelis (diploid). The two species look almost identical and their calls have much the same pitch, but the calls differ in the rate at which pulses are produced. Since they may breed in the same pond, the differing calls allow the females to find males of their own species and prevent wasted matings that would result in inviable hybrid offspring.
STATUS IN WILD: