Being my favorite species of frog, the Gray Treefrog may get more than its fair share of exposure on the Naturally Curious blog. This amphibian is rarely noticed outside of its June mating season, when the males’ bird-like trills can be heard throughout the night from shrubbery bordering wetlands. Due to its emerald green coloration when young, and its mottled gray/green adult appearance, in addition to its nocturnal habits, this beguiling amphibian escapes detection by most of us throughout the rest of the summer.
However, if you keep an eye out in August, near where you heard those trills in June, you may be successful in spotting a juvenile Gray Treefrog. Having developed legs and lungs, absorbed their gills and tails, and reinvented their digestive system for insects, not plants, they are now permanently terrestrial, except during the breeding season. When a Gray Treefrog is young and newly metamorphosed, it usually remains near the forest floor. As it ages, it may transition to living in the forest canopy. (Photo: juvenile Gray Treefrog; inset – adult Gray Treefrog)