Cope’s Gray Tree Frog

ANIMAL:
Cope’s Gray Tree Frog Dryophytes chrysoscelis

Type of Animal:
Frog

Habitat:
Tree areas, trees near ponds, fishless wetlands, swamps, ephemeral wetlands/edges, woodland ponds, pond edges, woodland lakes, ditches, lake edges, temporary shallow ponds, river backwaters, woodlands/forests, forest edge, forest openings near water, grasslands, prairie, meadows, fields, piedmont, mountainous areas, thickly wooded suburban neighborhoods, farm woodlots, coastal plains, false nettle/reedgrass/swamp white oak sapling areas, moss/lichen-covered fences, knothole cavities, bluebird nesting boxes, urban environments, under bark/leaves, crevices, house sides, woodlot edges, oak savanna

Location(s):
E half of US from E Dakotas/Nebraska/Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas eastward as far S as N Florida & as far NE as Maine. Also found in SE Canada in S Manitoba, S Ontario, & S Quebec.

Appearance:
Looks very similar to Eastern Gray Tree Frog, color ranging from gray to green but greener than E species, females larger than males, males have darker throats than females (especially in breeding season), black-marked bright orange to yellow patches on hind legs, smaller than E Gray Tree Frog, froglets often greener than adults

Food/Diet:
Insects, insect larvae, mites, plant lice, spiders, harvestmen, snails, worms, smaller tree frogs (including smaller members of own species). Tadpoles eat algae, dead plant matter, & underwater plants.

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, aquariums, & herpetoculture

Lifestyle:
Found in small groups

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young: Tadpole
Group: Army

Weight:
Male: 0.22 oz
Female: 0.24 oz

Gestation:
3-7 days 

Life Span:
7-9 years

Body Length:
Male: 1-1.25 in
Female: 1.25-1.5 in

Main predators of adults are snakes, alligators, turtles, birds, mammals, larger frogs, many fish, lizards, salamanders, & giant water bugs. Diving beetles, dragonfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, & larger amphibian larvae eat tadpoles.
 
Female can lay 1,000-2,000 eggs a season.
 
Eggs hatch 3-7 days after being laid, coming out as tadpoles.
 
Tadpoles metamorphose into froglets at 6-8 weeks old, becoming adults around 2 years old.
 
Best way to distinguish this species from closely related Eastern Gray Tree Frog is not by appearance but by calls. E Gray Tree frog males have musical birdlike trills. Cope’s Gray Tree Frog males have high-pitched buzzing trills. Cope’s Gray Tree Frogs slightly smaller.
 
Most often nocturnal.
 
Breeding/calling season lasts from late April-early July.
 
Hibernate in winter by taking refuge in trees.
 
Despite sharing range/habitat, they rarely interbreed.

Fun Fact(s):
Large sticky toe pads help it cling to surfaces.
 
Coloration in groin/leg area may help deter predators, since it confuses them.
 
Produces glycerol when exposed to colder temps, acting as natural antifreeze.
 
They’re excellent at camouflage.

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