Genus Species: Hyla chrysoscelis
Size: 1¼ – 2½”
Location: Found throughout Arkansas except possibly the northwest corner
Advertisement Call: Rattling trill, harsher than Gray Treefrog
Like its close cousin the Gray Treefrog, this guy can change color like a chameleon from gray to green with lots of camouflage blotches. They have the typical treefrog sticky toe pads. He is named in honor of Edward Cope (1840-1897), a noted American herpetologist.
The Cope’s males will begin calling in late April with a single vocal sac and will continue calling for several weeks. Although the Cope’s and Gray Treefrog are identical in appearance, their calls are different enough that females can tell them apart and thereby prevent interbreeding. Females will lay up to 2,000 eggs in large egg masses which break up into smaller groups and attach to vegetation. The eggs will hatch in three to seven days and develop into frogs in five or six weeks.
Interesting Fact: This frog will depend on its camouflage until the last possible instant. Then they will leap out of harm’s way. There are orange flash markings on the frog’s groin that show when it jumps, but not otherwise. So during the retreat leap, the predator is distracted by an orange flash that quickly disappears again (along with the frog).
The Cope’s Gray Treefrog is in the Hylidae (Treefrog) family and is a New Frog (Neobatrachia). Their skin is somewhat rough for a frog, but not nearly as rough as a toad.
Click for more about Cope’s Gray Treefrogs at Herps of Arkansas.