Chorus frog has several names including Swamp tree frogs and Swamp cricket frogs. This frog species belong to the family Hylidae. These frogs are present in several areas mainly west including North America, Canada, Southern U. S, and in Northern Mexican areas. As compared to other hylid frogs, chorus frogs are not good at climbing and therefore they mostly inhabit the low grasses and shrubs.
Chorus frogs have a very specialized call and they have a luminous bright stripe on their upper lip. The size of different chorus frogs depends on the family. The grass frogs may grow up to about two centimetres whereas, on the other hand, the Strecker’s chorus frog can reach the size of five centimetres.
Chorus frog v/s wood frog
During the early springs, we all hear those unusual sounds coming from our backyards and usually in the grounds and parks. The unusual voice which we are referring to is the loud vocals of the chorus frogs. The chorus frogs mainly act as the supporting singers for the spring peepers. The chorus frogs are one or two inches in size with three black stripes covering their bodies. their colour ranges from greenish-grey to brown. They have a trilling call which is a slow call that does not last for more than one or two seconds.
To mimic their call, you can use a poor quality plastic comb and run your fingernail over it and that’s it. This is exactly the same sound a chorus frog produces. Now run your finger gently, and there you got a female chorus frog call.
In early springs, wood frogs are also very common to see. However, whenever I approach them in the spring season I let them have their privacy. Why? Because the frogs are very concerned about their reproductive cycle and also they are very public. Wood frogs do an unusual attempt during their reproduction cycle which is not similar to the other frogs. These frogs produce a large number of eggs (in masses) which is not a common thing for frogs and also in public.
Wood frogs are capable of freezing themselves in ice during frost. We do not know how they do that. God has certainly given them some superpowers to do this. According to the scientific reasons, these frogs are capable of pushing out their cellular water out of the cells and they also produce a substance called antifreeze which saves their bodies from damage in the low temperatures.
Chorus frog facts
Primarily there are two kinds of chorus frogs:
- Boreal chorus frog
- Western chorus frog
In the beginning, they are considered the same. Even, for scientists, it is very hard to differentiate them. However, the research reveals several other factors which distinguish them:
- The western chorus frog’s legs have very short legs when compared to the Boreal frog. Despite this, their genetics and calls are also very different.
- Chorus frogs are small frogs almost the size of a fully grown grape, almost about two and a half centimetres.
- They have a pear-shaped body with a pointy face.
- The chorus frogs are one of the smallest frogs in the world and the best way to distinguish them is to look for the three stripes that run through their whole body and break up while reaching their upper lip. Also, a dark line is also present on both of their eyes.
- The inner of the chorus frog is generally lighter in colour. The belly is of the colour yellowish-white or light green.
- Males are smaller in size while females are larger. However, you can differentiate between them because only males can blow up their vocal sacs and can make calls.
- Adult chorus frogs in the wild may live for one year while in captivity they may live for up to three years.
- In the wild, the chorus frogs have very excellent camouflage and they are very hard to identify. However, as spring approaches they make calls which help to identify them.
- The calls of the chorus frogs can be heard from a kilometre away.
- People confuse the chorus frog with the peepers but the fact is the peepers only make calls in the night while the chorus frogs make calls both during the day and in the night.
Where do chorus frogs live?
Chorus frogs have a tough life cycle and like most of their amphibian family, they primarily need aquatic-terrestrial habitat to live in. Chorus frogs tend to breed in several kinds of habitat like ponds, marshes and swamps which is also home to several other creatures like fishes so they have plenty of food.
Chorus frogs tend to live in such aquatic habitats that do not last long, and they find such habitats right after the winters when the spring approaches. At that time, the ice is melting and they find the perfect habitat. When the breeding has finished, in the late spring the chorus frogs are found in the forests and other kinds of terrestrial habitats to wind up their breeding.
Chorus frogs are one of those frogs which can actually survive while actually being frosted. In the winters they hide beneath the logs etc. As soon as the temperature rises the frog’s body becomes active again.
What does a chorus frog sound like?
The chorus frog’s calls can be heard throughout the day and in the night. They are found mainly near the water bodies. When they make calls collectively, they are so loud which can be heard even from a kilometre away. The call consists of very short notes occurring again and again. You can mimic the chorus frog’s call by running your finger on the comb.
What do chorus frogs eat?
Chorus frogs can eat several things depending upon the family. They have a carnivorous diet while their diet majorly consists of insects. The chorus frogs rely on eating several small or big insects or spiders.
Some of their favourite and must-haves include beetles, ants, flies, leafhoppers, and thrips etc. Sometimes they also go for bigger dinners like worms, spiders and some small-sized snails.
How big do boreal chorus frogs get?
Chorus frogs are small-sized species, even at their maximum, they can grow about thirty millimetres. However, its size is extremely diversified. They are majorly brown in colour with a green belly.
Three dorsal dark coloured stripes run over their body. The intensity of these stripes also vary. Some frogs have very obvious stripes while others have fainted stripes.
Western chorus frog
Western chorus frogs are sticky and shiny skinned amphibians. Their colour ranges from green to brown. They have a white stripe on their upper lip and a darker stripe on their eyes. Three darker stripes run over their whole body.
These three stripes are their primary identification from other frogs. The pattern of the stripes can vary, sometimes they are in the form of dots, blotches and dashes.
At maximum, the size of a chorus can tange to four centimetres. The call of the chorus frog is similar to the sound made when you run your fingernail on a comb.
Western chorus frog habitat
Western chorus frogs inhabit mainly the openings of the forests near ponds, marshes and damp areas. The frog breeds in any pond with no fishes, that have a minimum of ten centimetres of water in it.
These frogs usually live and breed in temporary water bodies that are formed mainly due to the melting of ice after winters in early spring. They also inhabit water-drenched meadows formed after heavy rain, ditches and marshes.
Western chorus frog care
During the last ten years, the population of the chorus frog has been reported to be declining by thirty-seven percent in several areas of Quebec and Ontario.
The major reason behind this decline is habitat loss and destruction. Moreover, these frogs use temporary aquatic habitats for breeding which are now being used for agricultural and for urban benefits.
Currently, under Ontario, the chorus frogs are not under the endangered list. The population at the Great lakes-St Lawrence population has been mentioned as the endangered population of the chorus frogs.
Western chorus frog facts
- Western chorus frogs are shiny and smooth-skinned amphibians. They are small-sized frogs.
- A white stripe is present on the upper lips of the warren chorus frogs and a dark stripe on each eye. The major identity is the three stripes that run over their entire body and break towards the eyes.
- The calls are identical to peepers but they are smaller and are frequent.
- Western chorus frogs are identical to the boreal chorus frogs and people usually mistake them both. However, the western chorus frogs have more extended back legs as compared to the boreal chorus frogs.
- Western chorus frogs in Canada inhabit Ontario and several valleys of Quebec. They are also found in the eastern areas of the U.S.
- Their main habitat is the fishless temporary aquatic ponds and the opening of the woodland forests.
- Breeding takes place in a pond with ten centimetres in it.
- Western chorus frogs breed in the early spring with the breeding season starting from March lasting in April.
- They lay masses of eggs which are attached to the grown-up vegetations.
- Chorus frogs can survive even when they are frozen and they hibernate in winters beneath the logs.
Eastern chorus frogs
The eastern chorus frog or the upland chorus frog are mainly found in the Eastern United States in the states of New Jersey, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.
These frogs are now being identified as a separate species. Earlier, they were included in the western chorus frog species.
These frogs are usually brown, grey, or pungent brown in colour. They can grow about one or two inches in size.
Eastern chorus frogs are not diurnal, they also tend to be secretive. They are not aquatic rather they are terrestrial frogs. They have diversified habitats. However, mainly they live in damp and moist areas near a water body and near the grown-up vegetations.
Similar to the other frogs they also have a carnivorous diet. These frogs can breed throughout the year. However, a major part of the reproduction occurs near the colder weather mainly in November till March.
They also lay eggs in masses or clusters of sixty eggs. The females are capable of laying almost one thousand eggs at a time.
Chorus frog scientific name
The genus of the Chorus frog is Pseudacris and they belong to the family Hylidae. The genus name of Chorus frog comes from a Greek word, the word mainly refers to their repeated trill calls.