gray treefrog

(Hyla versicolor)


This is a large treefrog, 32-60 mm, with the females larger. It has a dark star-shaped pattern on the back, a light spot beneath the eye, and the concealed surfaces of the thighs are orange or yellowish. The back has many minute warts, and the belly is plain, light and unmarked. This species breeds from April to August. The eggs are brown and cream or yellow, laid in small packets of not more than 30-40 eggs on the surface of quiet pools. The voice is a lower frequency, melodious trill, lasting for 1-3 seconds and ending abruptly.


This species is chiefly arboreal except during the breeding season. It occurs in the Virginia mountains north of the New River watershed, the Blue Ridge and the Piedmont. It breeds in roadside ditches, ponds and other shallow situations. The males defend the calling site.


It eats many insects and invertebrates. It is not often seen on the ground or at the water’s edge, except in breeding season. Many forage aloft, chiefly in relatively small trees or shrubs that are near or actually standing in shallow bodies of water.