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Gray Treefrogs Metamorphosing

Gray Treefrogs are often heard but rarely seen, due both to their cryptic coloration as well as the fact that they are arboreal.  They tend to perch (grasping trees with their toes which bear large, adhesive, mucous-secreting disks at their tips) in vegetation surrounding swamps and ponds, where their robust, territorial and mating trilling can be heard (males call between 500-15,000 times per hour). To hear trilling Gray Treefrogs go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSkhM24Fi-k.

After choosing a mate and mating, Gray Treefrog females lay up to 2,000 eggs which hatch in 2-5 days.  For the next month or two the tadpoles breath with gills and consume vegetation.  Full-sized tadpoles are green or black with red or orange tails.  Towards the end of summer, the tadpoles begin their transformation into frogs, developing limbs and lungs, absorbing their tails and changing from a diet of plants to one of insects.

Adult Gray Treefrogs are mottled gray or green (depending on their surroundings, temperature, and humidity) and have an uncanny resemblance to lichen. Recently-metamorphosed young treefrogs such as the one pictured are a brilliant emerald green.  (Photo: young Gray Treefrog with adult Gray Treefrog inset) (Thanks to Brian Long for photo op.)

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7 responses

  1. mmwm

    Is this one? Taken a couple days ago on milkweed.

    On Mon, Aug 5, 2019, 9:24 AM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: “Gray Treefrogs are often heard but rarely seen, due > both to their cryptic coloration as well as the fact that they are > arboreal. They tend to perch (grasping trees with their toes which bear > large, adhesive, mucous-secreting disks at their tips) in veget” >

    August 5, 2019 at 9:29 am

  2. shielaswett

    The post office is seling FROG STAMPS! You and your readers might be interested!!

    August 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    • Thanks, Shiela! I ordered four packets of them a month or so ago — they’re great!

      August 5, 2019 at 12:27 pm

  3. Tamson

    The first time I heard them calling, I had no idea what they were. So I grabbed a flashlight and went looking. This is what I found: https://youtu.be/jzkdfZ9u5yI

    August 6, 2019 at 7:52 am

  4. Alice

    They are beautiful frogs. I’ve seen 3 in over 30 years & took a video of one, breathing, on the picnic table, it was very patient!

    August 6, 2019 at 10:47 am

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