Gray Treefrog

Copes left Gray right James Harding

Copyright James Harding


Genus Species: Hyla versicolor

Size: 1¼ - 2½”

Location: Found throughout Arkansas

Advertisement Call: Short, low pitched trill




The picture shows a Cope’s Gray Treefrog on the left and a Gray Treefrog on the right.  Remember that they are almost identical except for their calls and the fact that Cope’s has 24 chromosome pairs and the Gray has 48 pairs.  That makes the Gray Treefrog the only polyploid frog in the United States.  Note that the species name versicolor is appropriate for a frog that can change color to approximate its surroundings.

Interesting Fact: The first frogs in space were a couple of Bullfrogs launched on November 9, 1970.  No recovery was planned so they gave their lives for science.

In the spring, Gray Treefrogs may populate the trees around a pond and be calling in a loud chorus - that is, until they see you approaching at which time they will go silent.  The calling with their single vocal sac takes a lot of energy for the male, so females will seek out the males with the longest, strongest calls for mating.  This process also produces the strongest offspring (Darwin would be smiling).  Like Cope’s, the females will lay up to 2,000 eggs which will hatch in 3 to 7 days and mature in 5 to 6 weeks.

Gray Treefrogs belong to the Hylidae (Treefrog) family and are New Frogs (Neobatrachia).