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Gray Treefrogs Well Camouflaged

6-14-17 gray treefrog2 206If there is an amphibian that is a master of disguise, it has to be the Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor).  This remarkable frog is capable of changing its color (gray, green or brown) to match its environment within half an hour, a process called metachrosis. Shades of gray are most common with black blotches on the back while green colors are more prominent during the breeding season and in yearling frogs.

Being a treefrog, it has large, round, sticky toe pads that help it cling to trees and shrubs, where it spends most of its time. Survival is more likely if predators don’t detect you, so Gray Treefrogs have evolved to look a lot like bark.

When the temperature reaches 59° F. the males’ bird-like trilling can be heard coming from foliage next to and hanging over their shallow breeding pools. If you wish to set eyes on a Gray Treefrog, now is the time, as they are calling and a silent Gray Treefrog can be extremely difficult to find!

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9 responses

  1. Tami

    I love these little guys! I got a pretty good video of a male calling one night a few years ago:

    June 14, 2017 at 7:22 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    I’ve seen 3, on our property. One was hibernating in the soil near a tree, I’m glad I didn’t injure it, when I was digging, to plant some flowers. I took pictures & have videos of one…they do feel very “clammy” and are so interesting.

    June 14, 2017 at 7:56 am

  3. Stacey

    My 6-year-old came across one of these at our pond the other day and was completely fascinated by its “mint chocolate chip” coloring.

    June 14, 2017 at 8:13 am

  4. Alan M Stoops

    The “coolest” amphibian found around here (and cooler than any of the exotic frogs people often keep as pets). Have heard them calling from the pools at the very top of Mt. Monadnock. A friend raised some tadpoles from those pools to adults. You can hold one in your hand and tickle its nose with a grasshopper, and it will snarf it right down.

    June 14, 2017 at 10:15 am

  5. Kathie Fiveash

    I found a dead one the other day, and the underside of its back legs and crotch was a brilliant yellow! Totally hidden when the frog is alive and in its normal crouched frog position.

    June 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    • Alice Pratt


      June 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm

  6. Susan Johnson

    little soft feet…

    xo smita

    June 15, 2017 at 6:46 am

  7. antonia age 8

    i already have 1my sister found it at her school near the garden it was hurt we helped it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 20, 2017 at 9:21 am

    • Hi Antonia! I’m so glad you had a chance to see a gray treefrog up close! Aren’t they beautiful? I love how they can stick to a wall or a window with their sticky toe pads!

      June 20, 2017 at 9:38 am

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