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Species Description

Squirrel Treefrog

Hyla squirella


Species Image

Classification

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

Description

Bright green to dark brown, with many variations. An individual may be different colors at different times, depending on temperature, activity, stress, and other factors. It may or may not be spotted, depending on these same factors. There may be a light stripe extending along its side from the top of the mouth to the thigh. This stripe has an indistinct lower edge. It may also have a dark mark between the eyes. This Treefrog breeds from March to late August or early October. Fertilization is external. The female lays up to 1,000 eggs in shallow, standing water with abundant vegetation. Hatching to transformation takes six weeks. The Squirrel Treefrog is nocturnal. It spends the day resting in moist hiding places. It can be found among trees or shrubs, in open pine woods, in swamps, under leaf litter, or even around houses. At night it is common around outdoor lights where it hunts insects. It is called a "rain frog" because it is one of the species that calls only during and after summer showers. A small Treefrog, 2.2 - 3.8 cm (7/8 - 1.5 in) in length.

Life Cycle

This Treefrog breeds from March to late August or early October. Fertilization is external. The female lays up to 1,000 eggs in shallow, standing water with abundant vegetation. Hatching to transformation takes six weeks. The Squirrel Treefrog is nocturnal. It spends the day resting in moist hiding places. It can be found among trees or shrubs, in open pine woods, in swamps, under leaf litter, or even around houses. At night it is common around outdoor lights where it hunts insects. It is called a "rain frog" because it is one of the species that calls only during and after summer showers.

Range

Squirrel Treefrog Region Map This Treefrog is common throughout Georgia's Coastal Plain.

Conservation Status

This Treefrog is not under any threat at present. Its preferred habitat is open, moist forest. Practices that enhance or preserve this habitat will help the species.

Similar Species

At least eight species can be confused with this Treefrog. Identification is largely by a process of elimination. The Squirrel Treefrog does not have spots or stripes on the inner thighs like those found on the Pine Woods Treefrog and on Northern and Southern Cricket Frogs. It does not have dark spots on its flanks as does the Ornate Chorus Frog. It does not have light spots under its eyes like the Gray Treefrog and Bird - voiced Treefrog do, or a stripe through the eye like that found on the Little Green Frog. It also lacks the "X" on the back that distinguishes the Spring Peeper. The Squirrel Treefrog usually does have a light side stripe, but its bottom border is not as distinct as on the Green Treefrog. The Squirrel Treefrog also has larger toe disks and more webbing on its back feet than other Chorus Frogs do. The ranges of all the Chorus Frogs in Georgia except the Mountain Chorus Frog overlap the Squirrel Treefrog range.