WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

The gray treefrog is a medium sized frog. An adult can have a body that is up to 60 mm long. Gray treefrogs can change colour. The tops of the body can be any colour from very dark gray to bright green . They can have stripes and blotches of colours or they can be one colour all over. The belly can be light gray to white. On the inside of the leg is a bright yellow patch. The tips of their toes have little pads like suckers on them.

Look-alikes: A large treefrog might look a little like a Canadian or American toad, but the toads will be brown, not gray, and have lots of warts. The treefrog's yellow patch on its hind leg is something that toads don't have.

A small treefrog can look a lot like a spring peeper or a boreal chorus frog, but these have thinner bodies and don't have the yellow leg patch.

** There are really two kinds of gray treefrogs! One is called the gray treefrog and the other is called the Cope's gray treefrog. They look and act the same! You can only tell them apart if you hear their mating calls. So we just talked about them like they were one kind of frog. **


NAME

The gray treefrog gets its name because it is usually gray in colour, and lives in trees.


WHERE IT LIVES

Gray treefrogs live in forests and they usually stay close to small ponds or wetlands. They live in eastern North America, from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Treefrogs are found in southeastern Manitoba, as far north as the middle of Lake Winnipeg.

Where it lives in Manitoba.


HABITS

In the day time, treefrogs rest on the branches or leaves of trees. They are active at night and will crawl through the trees looking for food. They usually hunt by sitting still and waiting for an insect to fly or crawl close by. In late autumn they leave the trees and crawl under the leaves on the forest floor. They sleep there for the winter and their bodies can even freeze solid!


FOOD WEB

Treefrogs eat insects such as moths, small beetles and flies that are active at night up in the trees.

Small owls and squirrels would probably eat adult treefrogs if they found them in the trees. Snakes could catch treefrogs that were near the ground. The tadpoles are eaten by large water insects, snakes, and wading birds like herons.


LIFE CYCLE

Treefrogs mate and lay eggs in May or early June. They breed in ponds filled by melting snow or in small year-round ponds. Male treefrogs pick a spot to call for mates in a small tree or bush near the water.

Mating call of the gray treefrog:
(with some spring peepers, too)

Mating call of the cope's gray treefrog:

The females move to the pond when they have found a mate and lay their eggs quickly in a small bunch on some plants at the top of the water. The eggs hacth in 3 to 5 days.

The tadpoles can change to froglets after about 40 days, by mid-July. The new froglets are about 15 mm long.


NUMBERS

Treefrogs are common in most parts of southern Manitoba, but no one knows how many there might be in one hectare of forest.


SPECIAL THINGS

The sticky toe pads on the tips of the toes of treefrogs help them to climb through branches and stick onto leaves.

Treefrogs can freeze in winter, under the forest floor leaves, so they can live in places that only have small ponds that dry up by late summer.

Maybe the most special thing about treefrogs is the way they can change colour to hide from their enemies. They can turn gray to hide on a gray tree trunk or change to green to hide on a leaf.


USE BY PEOPLE

Treefrogs are very hard to find, so they probably aren't used by people for anything.