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barking treefrog

(Hyla gratiosa)


This is the largest native treefrog with a length from 49-68 mm. The coloration is gray, purple, or green, the skin is granular, and the back is evenly covered with dark, elliptical or round spots encircled with black. Spots may be absent. There is a light stripe that extends along the sides, bordered below by a purplish brown one. There are spots on the side, chin, and the rim of the jaw which are reddish brown. This species breeds from March to August. The eggs are laid singly on the bottom of a pond and are from 1.0-1.8 mm in diameter. This species breeds in cypress ponds and bays, and in pine barren ponds. It climbs high in trees, and often seeks shelter underground in hot, dry weather.


This species is found in the Coastal Plain and adjacent Piedmont from Mathews County south. It is confirmed to occur in five counties: Mathews, Surry, Isle of Wright, Chesterfield, and Prince George. Unvouchered reports are from Greensville, Southampton, and Sussex counties. Choruses gather at permanent water, streams, cypress ponds, and bayheads to breed. All Virginia breeding sites were found in graminoid dominated temporary ponds. Most of the breeding sites are in open-canopied pools. The forest surrounding the breeding ponds are the supposed nonbreeding habitat Common locally in sandy areas near shallow ponds in pine savannas and in low wet woods and swamps.


This species eats many arboreal insects.