Gray Treefrog

Hyla versicolor

Class: Amphibia

Order: Anura

Family: Hylidae

Gray tree frog range map

Range map for Gray treefrog

Find out more about the Gray treefrog from:

 

Websites -

Minnesota Herpetology Page

Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative

 

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles


Publications -

Minnesota Conservation Volunteer articles

 

Other treefrogs -

Cope's gray treefrog

Northern cricket frog *RSG

Spring peeper

Western chorus/Boreal chorus frog

 

About frogs and toads

 

Cope's gray treefrog

Photo: © D. Lawson Gerdes.

The gray treefrog is common in Minnesota and throughout the eastern United States. It is often seen near swamps (wetlands that have flooded trees and shrubs).

It closely resembles the Cope's gray treefrog (H. chrysoscelis) and can only be distinguished in the field by their call. The gray treefrog has twice as many chromosomes as the Cope's gray treefrog.

Identification

General description: This small frog has toe pads which enable it to climb shrubs and trees.

Length: 1 1/4 - 2 inches (3.2-5.1 cm)

Color: Gray to creamy white. This frog can change colors, so it can be anything from a mottled grayish green or solid green to a gray or creamy white color. The inner thighs on the hind legs of all gray tree frogs are yellow.

Sounds: A musical, birdlike trill. The call is similar to the Cope's gray treefrog, but slower. They may call while perched in tree branches.

Reproduction

Gray treefrogs breed in May when they move to breeding ponds. Clusters of up to 30 eggs are attached to vegetation near the surface of the water. The eggs hatch in three to six days. Tadpoles transform within two months. Adults reach maturity within two years.

Habitat and range

Breeding habitat: Shallow wetlands within or near forested habitat.

Summer habitat: Closely associated with woodland and forest habitats. Often found in residential areas where it may be seen on windows feeding on insects attracted to lights.

Winter habitat: Terrestrial. Body can withstand partial freezing.

Fun facts

Some gray treefrogs spend the winter in a partially frozen state under leaf litter, rocks and logs. People often see them on windows on summer evenings where the frogs feed on bugs attracted to the lights inside.