DEEP: Gray Treefrog

Gray Treefrog

(Hyla versicolor)

{Gray Treefrog}  

IDENTIFICATION: An arboreal frog distinguished by its gray mottled dorsum, suction cup feet, and bright yellow flash patches on the rear of its thighs. Small-medium size, adults 35-60 mm body length.

The gray treefrog is widely distributed in the state, but it has been declining since the 1930s (Babbitt, 1937). One of the main reasons for its decline is the loss of shrub swamps, the preferred breeding habitat of this species. Although some loss occurs naturally through canopy closure, the major causes of habitat loss are the outright draining of wetlands, as well as the conversion of large tracts of shrub swampland into other wetland types. Wetland conversion occurs when swamps and other wetlands are converted into ponds and small lakes. This is a common development practice in many areas, driven by the legal mandate not to lose wetland acreage, but without regard for the vegetational structure, ecological function, and biological complexity of the wetland. The wetlands that result from these conversions are usually biologically impoverished, and serve as habitat for only the most hardy and adaptable amphibians and reptiles.

Frogs | Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut