Hyla squirellaSquirrel Treefrog

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Geographic Range

This species is found all over the southern states of the U.S. It ranges from Virginia to the Florida Keys, to the south coast of Texas. It travels as far north as Mississippi (rarely).

Habitat

Can be found in gardens, brush areas, woods, trees, and vines. Just about anywhere there is moisture, food, and hiding places.

Physical Description

Development

Reproduction

The females are summoned by the males with quick and harsh "quacks" between the months of April and August. Once she finds a mate, a female begins amplexus and the eggs are laid inwater. Usually some sort of roadside ditch, pond, or semi-permanent puddle is used. The eggs sink to the bottom and hatch within a month. The tadpoles feed and undergo metamorphosis within days.

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

Lifespan/Longevity

  • Average lifespan
    Status: captivity
    8.5 years
    AnAge

Behavior

There are no noticeable differences between the male and the female. They both range in colors greatly, depending on the surroundings and the temperatures. They can be any color between a dark brown and a bright green.

Food Habits

The Squirell Tree Frog feeds off of insects. It prefers small prey, choosing its prey by size rather than identity.

Conservation Status

This frog is extremely common in the south and can be seen much of the time on wet nights, around lighted areas and roads. They are often mistaken for other species of frogs because of their range in color and markings.

Other Comments

The squirell Tree Frog is often called the "rain frog" because of its calls when wet weather is approaching. It also may be referred to as the Chameleon Frog, for its ability to change colors.

Contributors

Tyler Virden (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

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.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.

savanna

A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.

References

Conant, Roger. 1991. A Field Guide of Reptiles and Amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Co.,Boston.

Frazer, J. 1973. Amphibians. Wykeham Publications, London.

Mount, Robert. 1975. Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama. Auburn printing Co., Alabama