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Species Description

Little Grass Frog

Pseudacris ocularis


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Classification

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

Description

Its body ranges from brown or tan to grayish green tinted with red or pink. The belly is light in color. A dark side stripe passes through the eye and down the side, sometimes reaching the thighs. This stripe is its most constant feature. This frog usually has the dark triangle between the eyes, and it may have a dark stripe extending from the triangle down the back. Just above and below the side stripe, the skin may be much lighter than on the back. The tiniest frog in North America, 1.3 - 1.9 cm (0.5 - 3/4 in) in length.

Life Cycle

This frog can breed throughout the year, but is most likely to breed during spring rains. Females lay up to 100 eggs in shallow water. Hatching takes several days and transformation into tiny frogs occurs in six to nine weeks. The Little Grass Frog spends most of its time in grasses, sedges, rushes, and shrubs, a foot or two above the ground. It is nocturnal and insectivorous. This frog prefers pine woods, bottomlands, and swamps. Grassy, marshy areas around shallow ponds or Carolina Bays are prime habitats. Ditches and seeps with ample vegetation are also important habitats.

Range

Little Grass Frog Region Map This frog is common throughout the Coastal Plain.

Conservation Status

At present, this frog is under no threat. Protection of wetland habitat is important to maintain healthy populations.

Similar Species

This is the tiniest frog in North America and can be confused with the young of other frogs because of its size. No other adult frog is this small. The dark stripe on the side of the body is also a good indication that it is a Little Grass Frog.