Gray Treefrog

Some people think of treefrogs as being a tropical thing, but in the temperate regions of North America we have treefrogs as well. The Gray Treefrog is common throughout the eastern half of the temperate zone of the continent. Because of only needing a small amount of area to form a quality habitat, it can be commonly found in urban and suburban areas in addition to rural areas. Because of their small size and good camouflage, they are more often heard than they are seen.

What is interesting is the Gray Treefrog is actually two different species that are physically identical, the Eastern Gray Treefrog and the Cope’s Gray Treefrog. They can sometimes be told apart by their calls, but they are similar enough that confusing the two is easy. The only sure way to tell them apart is a genetic test. The Eastern Gray Treefrog is tetraploid (four copies of each chromosome) while the Cope’s Gray Treefrog is diploid (two copies of each chromosome). It makes for an easy genetic test to tell them apart, but it leaves field observations almost impossible to sperate them. I do not know which species is in this picture.

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