Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis and Hyla versicolor)
Is that really a frog you hear calling from the top of a tree or staring at you through the glass of your patio door? Yes, it is one of two species of Gray Tree Frogs that are found in Ohio. The two species that occur in Ohio are impossible to distinguish without access to a laboratory. Gray Tree frogs, like chameleons can change from green to gray. The skin is bumpy and both color morphs have an irregular pattern of dark splotches on their backs. Yellow flashes of color occur on the under surface of the hind legs and the toes terminate in rounded pads. These enlarged toe pads allow them to climb vertical surfaces. They have even been spotted on the second floor windows of Higley Hall at Kenyon College. On moist evenings they are attracted to lights where they feed on small insects.
|In late April or early May, males begin calling from trees and begin migrating towards their breeding sites, which
can be small ponds or ditches containing water. After mating the female lays a floating cluster of eggs which
will hatch in four or five days.
The tadpoles will have a red or orange cast to their tails and can be seen near the surface of the pond. It will take six to nine weeks for the tadpole to metamorphose into a frog. The small green frogs will stay near the pond where you may find them late in the summer.
If eggs have been laid in ditches that dry up many of the young tadpoles will be lost. We have found tadpoles in puddles with temperatures approaching 90 degrees Farenheit.