On being green (and gray)

This is a Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor), which looks identical to Cope’s Gray Tree Frog, but the later’s range does not include our area (eastern Ontario) – the only other difference between them is in their calls (CARCNET). This one was about 1-2 inches long.

The yellow markings on the inner hind legs of both the Gray Tree Frog and Cope’s Gray Tree Frog differentiate them from other frog species. These frogs are among those that can survive being essentially frozen solid until spring thaw (Amphibians and Reptiles of Minnesota). I think that must qualify as a super power!

Hanging for long periods of time on a vertical surface, by your toes, may also be a super power.

This is a photo from last year of a larger Gray Tree Frog I found camoflauged in its gray form, on a sawhorse.


Amphibians and Reptiles of Minnesota. Eastern Gray Treefrog: http://www.herpnet.net/Minnesota-Herpetology/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61:eastern-gray-treefrog-hyla-versicolor&catid=41:minnesota-frogs-toads-and-treefrogs&Itemid=63

CARCNET – Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network. Hyla chrysoscelis, Cope’s Gray Treefrog / Rainette criarde: http://www.carcnet.ca/english/amphibians/species_accounts/anurans/H_chrysoscelis/chrysoscelis2.php

Ontario Nature. Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario. Gray Tree Frog: http://www.ontarionature.org/protect/species/reptiles_and_amphibians/gray_treefrog.php

Note: The owners of referenced or linked-to materials do not endorse me or this site.

28 Responses to “On being green (and gray)”
  1. Fantastic photos, Cait! I love seeing his texture and color with the contrasting background. The camouflage photo is amazing. He really does have super powers!

  2. EvilPoet says:

    Great photos! I love the expression the frog has in the first one.

  3. Sybil says:

    What an amazing critter. I lived in Peterborough, Ontario for many years and never saw this type of frog. Your pictures are wonderful. Yes — those qualify as super powers.

  4. sandy says:

    He is so green. I wonder if he knows Kermit’s song?
    You get such great shots- I bet you are a patient person.
    I enjoyed this post.

  5. montucky says:

    Those are wonderful photos that pretty little fellow! We have some here that look somewhat similar and I love seeing them in the flower bed.

  6. Excellent photos with lots of character- and that last one blends in so well!

  7. Beautiful photos Cait. It looks a bit like that cute frog is posing for you! I love the detail. Also, that is pretty amazing how they can survive for so long with such harsh weather conditions. That frog must truly have super powers. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. Meanderer says:

    Excellent close-ups – it really looks as if he has posed for you! It’s amazing that they can survive being frozen solid: a super power indeed! Also, the camouflage on the larger gray tree frog is so effective.

  9. Deb W says:

    Hi Cait, This is a really weird looking fellow… Some kind of a morph between a toad skinned/tree frog/leopard frog.
    You’ve gotta love his pose in that first frame though,eh? Reminds me of one of those “baby shots” from that big dept store whose name sounds like “Nears” :D:D:D And the Grey guy’s weathered “barnboard-camo” is AWESOME!
    …Did the little one eventually turn red-orange?

  10. skadhu says:

    What a wonderful frog—so much personality in the tilt of its head. And as always, wonderful pictures!

    This is a species I’m not familiar with—we get Pacific Treefrogs and Redlegged frogs, but I’ve never seen one of these guys. Thanks for introducing us!

    • Thanks skadhu! I’ve only been to the west coast a couple of times, and have never seen the frogs you’ve mentioned either (I was more focused on the ocean and the spectacular views…next time I’ll have to spend some time looking for the little things).

  11. Barbara Rodgers says:

    I love the first picture, it looks a little puzzled and filled with curiosity about you and your camera. Super-frog with suction cups and state-of-the-art camouflage!

  12. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

    This is wonderful and so full of detail! I learnt something new today 🙂 Thank you!

  13. Lisa says:

    Ha ha! Super powers indeed. The texture of his skin is so amazing – and those eyes! Like beautiful marbles.

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