So I was in the pool the other day and noticed something odd, a greenish something just above the waterline. Naturally, I check it out, thinking it is some sort of weird moth, turns out to be a tree frog, more specifically a gray tree frog. I have seen them in the pool and porch before. Once, one was on the other side of the wall chirping like crazy, just as I was going to bed. Quite annoying to say the least, because they are loud. Wicked loud. I had to bang on the wall, and he moved off to somewhere on the porch and chirped there, it was quieter and I finally got some sleep. Stupid frog.
The Gray Tree frog is a common species of frog, and is found in nearly all of New England, except for a portion of Northern Maine.[ii] The only other tree frog found in our region is the spring peeper,[iii] whom I will discuss in some other blog post sometime later, whenever that will be. There is a closely related species called the Cope’s tree frog, which look almost exactly like it.[iv] The Cope’s tree Frog is native to the South, and generally not found in our area[v]
Like many other organisms, this is a poorly named species, as it is not always gray. Like a chameleon, this animal changes color. However the range of colors is limited to and the change is slow, but it does blend in with the background, however it does not blend in with unnatural backgrounds,[vi] so against things like rocks and trees, it blends in nicely, but against brick walls and painted surfaces, not so much. Also males have a colored throat, which it shows when calling.[vii] And like other tree frogs, it has pads on its toes to help it adhere to a variety of surfaces.[viii] Another interesting feature is that they can survive being frozen solid.[ix] This is not the only species with this ability, wood frogs can also survive being frozen.[x]
This frog grows to only about two inches long, and the females are larger than males.[xi] Males are territorial, and females tend to lay over 2000 eggs at a time, in numerous clutches of 10 to 40 in shallow ponds and swamps.[xii]
While they are always a pleasant sight, they are awfully loud, and I would prefer if they stayed silent, and just let me sleep in. But those horny male tree frogs gotta chirp. Dammit!
[ii] Behler, John L. and King, F. Wayne “National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians” Chanticleer Press, Albert Knopf Publishing, New York. 1979, 1997 PG. 404-5
[iii] Behler, John L. and King, F. Wayne “National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians” Chanticleer Press, Albert Knopf Publishing, New York. 1979, 1997 PG. 406
[v] Author Unknown “Cope’s Tree Frog” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cope%27s_gray_tree_frog 31Jul2016
[x] Roach, John “Antifreeze-Like Blood Lets Frogs Freeze and Thaw With Winter’s Whims” National Geographic News 20FEB2007 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070220-frog-antifreeze.html
Photo Credit: Me
Note: for some stupid reason WordPress really seems to want footnote x to be in bold, not sure why