Barking Treefrog

Fact File

Scientific Name: Hyla gratiosa

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 2.75 inches

Distribution: In Virginia, this species occurs only in the eastern half of the state with most populations found in the Coastal Plain and a few in the southeastern Piedmont. It typically inhabits wooded areas with pine, or mixed pine-hardwood forests.

Identifying Characteristics

The largest of Virginia’s treefrogs. This medium sized frog can be found in either a green phase or a less often gray phase. The skin is granular, and the back is typically evenly covered with dark, elliptical or round spots encircled with black. In some color phases, spots may be absent. A light stripe extends along the sides, bordered below by a purplish brown stripe.

Did You Know?

Unlike many other species of frog, male Barking Treefrogs call while floating in the water.

Role in the Web of Life

This species breeds from March-August in cypress ponds and swamps, and ephemeral habitats such as, interdunal swales, sinkholes, borrow pits, roadside ditches, and depressional wetlands. Their advertisement call doonk has been described as sounding like a hound dog barking in the distance.


Tier II Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan

Last updated: March 23, 2021