Cope’s Gray Tree Frog

Cope’s Gray Tree Frog Dryophytes chrysoscelis

Type of Animal:

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

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.

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

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:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, & herpetoculture

Found in small groups

Additional Info:

Young: Tadpole
Group: Army

Male: 0.22 oz
Female: 0.24 oz

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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