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Gray Treefrog

Fact File

Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 2.4 inches

Distribution: This species occurs in the Virginia mountains north and east of the New River watershed, through the Blue Ridge and the Piedmont. It is found in a variety of hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood forested habitats. In the southern Piedmont region of Virginia, this species can occur together with Cope’s Gray Treefrog.

Identifying Characteristics

This is one of the larger treefrogs in Virginia. It typically has a dark star-shaped pattern and many minute warts on a gray to light green background. It has a light squarish spot beneath the eye, and the concealed surfaces of the thighs are orange or yellowish (middle photo). Both color and pattern are highly variable, and these frogs may change their appearance rapidly in response to environmental conditions.

Did You Know?

Unlike Cope’s Gray Treefrog, which has 24 chromosomes (diploid), the Gray Treefrog has twice as many and are tetraploid.

Role in the Web of Life

This species breeds from April-August in a variety of shallow, ephemeral wetlands. Their advertisement call is a lower frequency, musical trill, lasting 1-3 seconds and ending abruptly.

Conservation

Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: March 23, 2021