Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)
Order: Anura, Family: Hylidae
Nearctic: Delaware, eastern Maryland and Virgina, eastern North and South Carolina, southern Georgia, all of Florida, Alabama west to eastern Texas,and extending up the Mississippi Valley to extreme southern Illinois. Possibly northeastern Mexico.
I. GEOGRAPHIC RANGE
II. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
- Nearctic: Delaware, eastern Maryland and Virgina, eastern North and South Carolina, southern Georgia, all of Florida, Alabama west to eastern Texas,and extending up the Mississippi Valley to extreme southern Illinois. Possibly northeastern Mexico.
III. FOOD HABITS
- Usually bright green, but an individuals color can vary from greenish-gray (when dormant during cool weather) to yellowish green (males when calling). Often has a white or yellowish stripe running down the body on either side, but the length and width of the stripe varies widely between individual, and is absent in some populations. Has the long legs and rounded toepads characteristic of treefrogs. They eyes are often golden-brown.
- Eats insects and other small invertebrates. Sometimes found on houses around windows or outside lights, where it pursues the insects attracted to the light.
- This frog breeds from April 15 to August 15. The condition of the weather is a controlling factor in determining when, within this period, breeding actually occurs. Males croak and call to attract females. When their eggs are mature, the females enter the water and are clasped by the males in the process called amplexus. As the female lays the eggs, the male discharges seminal fluid containing sperm over the eggs to fertilize them. After fertilization, the jelly layers absorb water and swell. The black or brownish and white or cream eggs are in small packets or films at or near the surface, attached to floating vegetation. The outer envelope is poorly defined, becoming part of the mass. The tadpole is medium, 1 3/5 inches, its tail long and pointed, its body green with a sulphur or ivory stripe on the side of the head from snout to eye. After 55 to 63 days, the tadpoles transform to adults. This takes place from July 2 to sometime in October, depending on the latitude.
- During the day, Green Treefrogs rest mainly on plant stems above the water. In the daytime, when the weather is sultry, or especially in the evenings of late May or early June, some of the immense choruses are very noisy. The chorus is broken by longer or shorter intervals of silence. A single note is first heard, and as if that were a signal, it is taken up and repeated by a dozen noisy throats until the air is resonant with the sound. After a time calling ceases as suddenly as it began, to be resumed again after a period of quiet. The chorus may travel along the margin of a lake for considerable distances. The voice is loud and at a distance sounds like a cowbell. It is one of the rain signals for residents of the South, who call it the "rain frog." At night many individuals are seen to be covered with certain tiny insects that are common in the ground vegetation. Some that were collected proved to be harmless flies. Their perching on the frogs is probably accidental.
VII. ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE FOR HUMANS
- Swampy edges of watercourses; on the taller water plants in ditches or pools; on lily pads, trees bushes, or vines at the edges of lakes. The frogs may be on the bushes and stems above the water, but more frequently they are at the water's level. They may be hidden in clumps of Spanish moss or under flakes of bark on trees. They also appear, at times, in fields of corn. The greatest concentration of individuals is found among lake and pond shore vegetation and on the floating rafts of water hyacinths.
- Biomes: temperate forest & rainforest, freshwater lake, freshwater rivers
It eats insects, which are common pests.
Its noisy voice may get annoying at times.
- These frogs find themselves in foreign places as a result of a growing interest in more unusual pets. There is a limited, but steady market for a variety of this exotic species.