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Species Description

Barking Treefrog

Hyla gratiosa


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Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Hylidae

Description

Ranges from green to yellowish, grayish, or dark brown. This Treefrog has many round dark spots edged in black on its back. There is a light stripe on the upper lip of its mouth that may extend along the side. A large Treefrog, 5.1 - 7.0 cm (2 - 2 3/4 in) in length.

Life Cycle

Breeding occurs from March to October, with a peak in the late spring. Fertilization is external. Females lay up to 2000 eggs in shallow water. Hatching takes place in about a week. Transformation takes six to ten weeks. This is the largest member of the Genus Hyla in the United States. It is nocturnal and spends the day resting in the trees. It is an opportunistic feeder and eats primarily insects. When the weather is dry, this Treefrog will burrow into the soil and aestivate until conditions are more favorable. It is found in pine forest and pine savanna habitat with sandy soils. It can be found around Carolina Bays and other temporary wetlands.

Range

Barking Treefrog Region Map The Barking Treefrog is found on the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of Georgia. It is uncommon throughout its range, although it may be locally common. It is not found on most of the Barrier Islands or in the mountains.

Conservation Status

This Treefrog is listed in Virginia as Threatened and in Tennessee as "in need of management." Both of these states are at the edge of its range. It is uncommon in Georgia, but this appears to be a natural condition. Protecting wetlands and pine woods will preserve habitat for this species. A species that is naturally uncommon is more vulnerable to habitat disruption than one that is common.

Similar Species

Leopard Frogs have similar spots but do not have toe pads.