WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

The spring peeper is a tiny frog. The body of an adult is only about 20 to 30 mm long. They are usually light brown in colour with some dark bands or stripes. Spring peepers have an "X" shaped mark on their backs.

The size of a spring peeper .

Look-alikes: Peepers are about the same size and colour as boreal chorus frogs. But peepers always have an "X" mark on their back. Boreal chorus frogs don't have this mark.


NAME

This frog gets its name because the males make a loud "peep" when they are calling for mates in the spring.


WHERE IT LIVES

Spring peepers live in forests and are usually found near ponds or other wetlands. They are found in eastern North America. In Manitoba, peepers are found in the southeast, mainly east of Lake Winnipeg.

Where it lives in Manitoba.


HABITS

Spring peepers hunt for food mostly at night and hide in the daytime. They are a kind of treefrog, but they don't climb high from the ground. They stay in low bushes or thick grass. They spend winter under the leaves on the forest floor. They are one of the 4 kinds of frogs in Manitoba that can freeze solid and live.


FOOD WEB

Spring peepers eat small insects, like mosquitoes and flies, and other small animals without backbones.

Peepers are so small that most large animals won't bother to eat them. Their main enemies are small snakes such as young garter snakes. Their tadpoles are eaten by snakes and large water insects.


LIFE CYCLE

Spring peepers mate and lay eggs in late April or early May. They breed in ponds that fill from melting snow or in small year-round ponds.

Mating call of the spring peeper:

Females lay their eggs one at a time on the bottom of ponds. The eggs hatch in 3 to 5 days.

The tadpoles change to froglets after about 40 days, in early July. The new froglets are tiny, about 10 mm long.


NUMBERS

Spring peepers are very common in southeastern Manitoba, but they are so small and hard to find that no one knows how many might live in one hectare.


SPECIAL THINGS

Spring peepers are another kind of frog that spends winter on land and can freeze solid.

The call that the male frogs make is very loud for such a tiny animal. When lots of peepers are peeping at once it is very hard for an animal that would like to eat a peeper to find any one frog.


USE BY PEOPLE

Most people have never seen a spring peeper, but anyone who lives in southeastern Manitoba would know the sound these frogs make. Some people record the sounds of peepers and other frogs and sell tapes or CD's of frog sounds or music with frog and other animal sounds.