Hyla andersoniiPine Barrens Treefrog

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Geographic Range

Hyla andersonii range from southern New Jersey to South Carolina. On a few occaisions, however, they have been seen as far south as the Florida panhandle and as far west as Alabama.

(Conant, 1975)

Habitat

Hyla andersonii reside in pools during part of the year, but when those dry up during the warmer summer months, they live on the damp soil in dark shaded areas of raspberry bushes and other brush. Whereas tadpoles swim in pools or ponds, adults are terrestrial, but live near water. Research suggests that that low pH in natural ponds limits Hyla andersonii to acidic ponds. (Grzmek, 1970; Pehek, 1995; Underhill, 1951; Wright & Allen, 1961)

Physical Description

Hyla andersonii vary in size. Adult females are between 30-41 mm in length and adult males are between 38-47mm in length. Hyla andersoni are bright green with plum or lavender stripes bordered by white running along their sides. On the inner femur and on the groin there are patches of orange, which are concealed when they are in resting/sitting position. The ventral surface is white and the dorsal surface entirely green. This coloration acts to comouflage them in vegetation. On females there are also white bordered patches of darker green on either side of the throat and the mouth is edged in white. Their feet have sticky pads on each finger in order to grip tree bark or leaves. (Conant, 1975)

Development

Reproduction

Hyla andersonii reproduce sexually. Matin occurs during the spring, usually from May 1-July 20, the latter half of the season occurring mostly in the southern areas of North and South Carolina. Age at sexual maturity is 2 to 3 years old. Ovulation is induced by males while mounting the female from the back. Males release sperm directly onto the eggs as they are released by females. (Conant, 1975; Beebee 1985)

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)

Behavior

Hyla andersonii are intermediate in activity. They do not have a lot of predators and therefore are not extremely quick. They spend most of their time resting in the brush of the forest. They are social when they mate. Often times males will fight one another over a female. (Pehek, 1995)

Food Habits

Adult pine barrens tree frogs are predatory. In the larval stage tree frogs eat vegetation or algae in the water. Adults catch flies, small slugs, snails, beetles, butterflies or moths. They catch these organisms with their tongue. While the tadpole has reduced teeth, the teeth grow slightly when an adult. (Beebee, 1985)

Conservation Status

Hyla andersonii are considered an endangered species. Recently, many pools which provided a habitat for Hyla andersonii have been destroyed for the sake of development. The pools have been drained or dried up and they no longer have a place to live. The only way to preserve this species is to protect the area of the Pine Barrens on the eastern coast of the U.S. Another endangerment is DDT. There now remains only three main concentrations of the Pine Barrens Tree Frog, the largest of which is in New Jersey. (Beebee, T.J.C.)

Other Comments

They are known as pine barrens tree frogs because they are found only in the Pine Barrens forests of the eastern United States from New Jersey to South Carolina. (Conant, 1975)

Contributors

Jessica Parman (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.

Glossary

Nearctic

living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

ectothermic

animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature

forest

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

metamorphosis

A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

References

Beebee, T.J.C., 1996. Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians. London: Chapman and Hall.

Beebee, Trevor, 1985. Frogs and Toads. London: Whittet Books.

Conant, Roger, 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Grzmek, Bernhard, 1970. Animal Life Encyclopedia 5: Fishes and Amphibians. Zurich: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

Pehek, Ellen L., 1995. Competition, pH, and the ecology of larval Hyla andersonii. Pehek, Ellen L., ed. New Jersey:

Underhill, Raymond A., 1951. Laboratory Anatomy of the Frog. Dubuque, Iowa: W.M.C. Brown Company.