Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Gray Treefrogs

Posted by  //  July 25, 2021  //  Articles, Creature Feature

Summer is in full swing and it’s a great time to observe frogs, which typically spend most of their lives in and around water.  The Bullfrog, North America’s largest frog, and a smaller look-alike species called the Green Frog can be found along heavily-vegetated lake and pond shorelines.  Not all frogs spend the summer months in water, however.

Gray Treefrogs, which reach a bit over two inches, are actually nocturnal tree dwellers.  They have rough-textured brown, green or gray skin with dark blotches offering superb camouflage.  These unique frogs are capable of changing colors.  Large toe pads help them climb through trees and shrubbery located near permanent bodies of water, where breeding takes place in late spring through early summer.  During this time, you can hear the short, high-pitched trills of male tree frogs as they call to attract females and announce arboreal territory.  They are extremely territorial and engage other males in intense grappling battles.  

Sometimes, Gray Treefrogs climb onto window screens and walls as they hunt insects near a light source.  Discovering them in such places gives us an up-close look at their interesting appearance, especially those big toes!  

Tiny but tough, Gray Treefrogs hibernate under leaf litter and snow where they can survive freezing solid, giving a whole new meaning to the expression, “totally cool!”

Article & photo by Margie Manthey

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