Prairie Ridge Ecostation

Cope's Gray Treefrogs

Hyla chrysoscelis

Early summer is a time of tremendous activity here at Prairie Ridge. The warm summer evenings have brought a chorus of sounds. Among the many insects, birds, and frogs that call during the night, one is distinctly loud. The Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis), one of two species of gray treefrog found in our region, is actively seeking mates. The male treefrog's raucous chirping can be heard near Prairie Ridge's ponds as they attempt to serenade nearby females. If successful, the pair will mate, resulting in a mass of jelly-like eggs. These eggs are laid in the water and will hatch into tadpoles that will mature into adult frogs and take up residence in the pond's surrounding vegetation.

A male gray treefrog calling        Gray treefrogs performing amplexus        Gray treefrog tadpoles

These small treefrogs are normally nocturnal, only becoming active at night, but individuals can sometimes be heard calling during the early mornings and on overcast afternoons. The adults can be very difficult to find due to their cryptic camouflage that allows them to blend in with their surroundings; however, the tadpoles can be seen in the ponds and vernal pools of Prairie Ridge.

To learn more about frogs and how you can participate in researching them, sign up for Frogwatch USA.

Listen to the Cope's Gray Treefrogs calling (MP3) at Prairie Ridge.

Find out more about the natural happenings at Prairie Ridge at our What Time Is It In Nature Archive.