Squirrel Tree Frog (Hyla squirella)

Squirrel treefrog

Description: Possessing a chameleon-like color-changing ability, squirrel tree frogs are found in a wide variety of colors, such as green, yellow, brown, and any variant in between the three. Besides differing in color, their skin also differs in terms of pattern, with some squirrel tree frogs exhibiting spots, bars between the eyes, and stripes on their side, while others are plain with no extra markings. They measure 1 to 1.5 inches in length, making them a small to average-sized tree frog species.

Location: Squirrel tree frogs are indigenous to the coastal plains of southeastern USA, from Texas to Virginia, and have been introduced in the Bahamas.

Habitat: Like many other tree frog species, the Squirrel tree frog prefers to make its home in humid and moisture-rich areas that feature a convenient water source and plenty of greenery in which to seek shelter. Places like marshes, the edges of lakes, streams, or other bodies of water, and swamps are all ideal locations for the Squirrel tree frog

Diet: Squirrel tree frogs feast upon invertebrates, such as termites, beetles, spiders, crickets, and ants.

Breeding: The reproductive process takes place from March to August, during which females will lay an average of 1,000 eggs in shallow pools of water. The breeding call of the Squirrel tree frog is often described as sounding like a nasal duck.

Behavior: Squirrel tree frogs are nocturnal animals who enjoy places that are cool and moist. During the day, they can be found under bark, leaves, and in tree hollows.

Fun Fact:

  • Those Squirrel tree frogs that live in close proximity to humans have learned to use human technology for their own purposes. In an area populated with Squirrel tree frogs, one can look outside at night and see them congregating by porch lights. Why? Because they have learned that insects are attracted to the light, meaning that a porch light is basically a death trap for insects and a buffet for the Squirrel tree frog.
  • Squirrel tree frogs are also called “rain frogs” due to their habit of calling to one another during and after occurrences of rain. The call they make during this time is said to sound like a chattering squirrel, hence its name.

 

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