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Northern Spring Peeper Pseudacris crucifer crucifer


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Northern Spring Peeper
credit: USGS

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Family: Hylidae, Treefrogs view all from this family

Description 3/4-1 3/8" (1.9-3.5 cm). Tan to brown to gray above, with darker X mark on back. Belly pale and unmarked. Large toe pads.

Voice A high-pitched ascending whistle, sometimes with a short trill, given once per second, in a multiple-frog chorus: PREEP-preep, PREEP-preep. Males call from shrubs and trees standing in or overhanging water.

Breeding In northern areas, March to June, with the start of warm rains. Males clasp females just behind the forelimbs; masses of eggs are laid in water.

Habitat Wooded areas in or near permanent or temporarily flooded ponds and swamps.

Range Manitoba to the Maritime Provinces south to Georgia, west to e. Texas, and north into c. Wisconsin.

Discussion The Spring Peeper is one of the most familiar frogs in the East, although its nighttime chorus -- one of the first signs of spring -- is heard far more often than the frog is seen. Treefrogs are reluctant jumpers. They are arboreal and adapted to walk and climb. Their toe tips are expanded into sticky adhesive pads used in climbing. Cartilage between the last two bones of each toe allows the tip of the toe to swivel backward and sideways while keeping the sticky toe pad flat against the climbing surface.