In Ohio, there are six different species of tree frog. You have arrived to the appropriate website if you recently saw a frog and want to identify it.
We offer comprehensive details on the tree frogs you could encounter when out and about in Ohio, regardless of whether you discovered one in your yard or observed one on your stroll today.
What kind of tree frogs can you find in Ohio?
Interesting creatures called tree frogs have evolved to fit a variety of environmental needs. Even though they are widespread, frogs that dwell in lakes and ponds are much easier to discover. A tree frog, for instance, may be right next to your head, yet it might be hidden on the opposite side of a leaf or fully camouflaged to its surroundings.
What then constitutes a tree frog? Hylidae, the family that includes all tree frogs in Ohio, has been included for the purposes of this article. Don’t be misled by the label “tree frog,” though, as members in this family can also be terrestrial and semi-aquatic.
I have made an effort to include audio clips for each species because tree frogs can be challenging to observe. Sometimes the BEST (or only) method to find each species is by listening.
Gray Tree Frog
The little frog known as the gray tree grog (Dryophytes versicolor) can change its color from green to gray to blend in.
Depending on what they are seated on at the moment, their color changes. These amphibians’ mottling ranges from nearly pure white to black. There is a black banded design on the legs.
They’ll be primarily gray if you observe them in an artificial setting.
During mating season, females often have a white neck, while males are somewhat smaller and have a gray, brown, or black throat.
It is simpler to recognize these tiny tree frogs while trying to figure out what tree frog you may have seen since they have rough skin and brilliant yellow on their back legs, growing to a length of two inches (or five cm).
The gray tree frog has been shown to survive in temperatures as low as -8oC. The gray tree frog inhabits wooded regions and only detaches from trees during the breeding season. Despite being solitary creatures, they are nocturnal and the males have loud choruses.
These amphibians are frequently seen near windows and porch lights, where the light attracts insects.
Spring Peepers are generally seen on the forest floor amid the leaves. They do, however, have substantial toe pads that they employ when climbing trees.
They reproduce and deposit eggs in ponds and other small bodies of water in the spring. The baby tree frogs spend around three months as tadpoles after hatching before emerging from the water.
The name “Spring Peepers” refers to their characteristic spring chorus. They are said to resemble the “peep” of young chickens. They are most frequently heard in the early spring! WATCH BELOW!
These tree frogs are easily recognized by sound because to their unusual cries.
Mountain Chorus Frog
Living in slopes covered with trees and near springs and other water sources is the Mountain Chorus Frog. Only a small portion of Ohio is home to this species of frog, which prefers to reside in high altitude regions with shallow sources of water.
Because of its secrecy, little is known about this species, however there have been reports of a fall in its number. These frogs are active both during the day and at night. Males will call while breeding is happening from open spaces. Adults are seldom ever spotted throughout the summer.
This frog is gray to olive in color and has a pattern on its dorsum that resembles inverted parentheses. Both sexes have a golden hue between their legs, while males have black necks. In contrast to other chorus frogs, this species has a stockier body, a larger head, and enormous pads on its feet.
Its main direct predators include ants, beetles, flies, centipedes, and other insects. This type of frog is frequently preyed upon and eaten by bullfrogs. Its cry is described as sounding like a finger stroking a comb.
American Bullfrogs inhabit environments with on-going water sources. In Ohio, ponds, lakes, and swamps are frequent habitats for this species.
They may make use of artificial water sources like culverts and canals to dwell in. Bullfrogs awaken from their winter slumber in April and remain active through October. Being nocturnal, this species will cry its mating call, which sounds like “jug-o-rum,” in the spring.
The biggest species of frog in Ohio and North America is the bullfrog. It has a dark colour that ranges from yellow to green. They have enormous bodies, big eyes, and thick lips.
Males have yellow throats and are smaller than females. It has long rear legs and small front legs.
Bullfrogs consume a variety of foods in their natural habitat and have a varied diet. Ones they feed on include mice, frogs, insects, and even snakes.
Given that it needs such a huge environment, keeping this frog as a pet is more difficult. In certain regions, bullfrogs are hunted so that their legs can be prepared and fed.
Cope’s Gray Treefrog
Gray Cope In Ohio, treefrogs are fairly common, especially in the southern fourth of the state. The name of these frogs implies that they are little treefrogs.
Their molted green to lemon-yellow skin is warty or granular in texture. Depending on the activity and setting, the color may vary. These frogs spend a lot of time in trees and bushes because they are excellent climbers.
In established deciduous woods, these frogs are very prevalent. They live in woody settings, especially those that are close to both permanent and transient waterways. They can be found close to lakes, marshes, ponds, etc. Additionally, they inhabit grasslands, prairies, fields, and meadows.
In marshes devoid of fish, they breed. These frogs hide or sleep in tree holes throughout the day. To feed on insects and other tiny invertebrates, they come out at night. Trees and bushes provide them with nourishment.
Boreal Chorus Frog
All over the US and Canada, the boreal chorus frog (Pseudacris maculata) may be found.
This species of frog barely reaches a maximum length of three centimeters.
Normally brown, however the back occasionally has a hint of green. It bears three broken dorsal stripes, which can either be barely perceptible or clearly visible. A distinctive black stripe that extends from the amphibian’s snout over its eye and down the opposite side of its head may be seen.
The boreal chorus frog resides close to an ongoing body of water.
Males call from foliage or a safe location near the water. Each member of the species has a distinctive cry, as do their pulses.
These amphibians often emerge earliest in the spring. They emerge early and are frequently discovered on snow and ice.
Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
In Ohio, permanent bodies of water including bogs, lakes, ponds, marshes, slow-moving rivers, and streams are home to or close to these tree frogs. As long as there is a steady water supply nearby, they can also occasionally be seen in transient bodies of water like flooded fields and drainage ditches.
Interestingly, Blanchard’s Cricket Frogs spend the most of their time on the ground and in water despite belonging to the “tree frog” family.
They are sadly becoming endangered and diminishing in several areas of their habitat. They deal with resource competition, chemical pollution, and habitat degradation. Given that they only live an average of one year, these tree frogs are also under strain from their short lifespan.
Western Chorus Frog
Most of Ohio is home to western chorus frogs, who like to dwell close to water. These frogs can use permanent water sources, but in order to preserve their eggs, they prefer temporary water environments.
They often reproduce in swamps, marshes, damp areas, and around the borders of ponds. Every environment they inhabit has a lot of large plants and dense grass. Being nocturnal, this frog is most active during the hot summer nights. Males and females frequently croak in unison to form a chorus.
They are smooth and little frogs. They might be reddish, brown, olive, or greenish-gray in hue. Its back is covered with circular brown stirpes that resemble blotches. More brown stirpes extend from this frog’s mouth to its flanks.
This species relies on tiny invertebrates to live. They are a reclusive species that, if startled, would cease croaking and dive underwater. Although there is a robust population of this species, it is diminishing in some locations.
A black eye mask located directly below each eye gives wood frogs their distinctive appearance. Typically, they have a dark-brown, tan, or russet ground hue. A species of small to very small, cold-tolerant frogs called a wood frog has no markings on its back.
Their tadpoles consume frog eggs, larvae, detritus plants, and algae, similar to many frog species. They are mainly terrestrial and can be found across Ohio, however less of them can be found in the western area. When the snow melts in February and March, they begin to reproduce. They make brief clucks and chortles as part of their breeding call (CTNF).
Northern Spring Peeper
In Ohio, Northern Spring Peepers are fairly widespread and may be seen all around the state. It is among the most well-liked frog species in Ohio. These are petite, brown or tan-colored treefrogs. Their backs have an X mark that helps you identify them. These frogs are found in transitory wetlands and marshy forests.
They can even be found in low areas near flooded water sources like marshes and ponds. Despite being treefrogs, they rarely ascend higher than three feet from the ground. They stay on the ground the majority of the time.
They are nocturnal frogs. Under logs, they also hibernate. In the late afternoon and early evening, the adult frogs come out to feed. They eat invertebrates like insects and other critters. These frogs can withstand frigid temperatures well because their blood naturally acts as “antifreeze.”
Northern Green Frog
Marshes, swamps, lakes, and other types of aquatic environments are home to northern green frogs. This species can be found in Ohio’s natural watersheds and across the state. Beginning in May, breeding lasts until the end of August. To find a partner, male frogs produce a “gungk” sound.
This frog can be brown, green, or greenish-brown in hue. It has a white belly, and its side may show signs of molting. It features a circular mark on its face and a dorsolateral fold on one side. They have a vocal sac in their mouths.
These frogs are commonly kept as pets and, when properly cared for, can live up to 10 years. Mealworms, nightcrawlers, and crickets are readily available and tasty foods for them. They consume any bugs, including spiders, ants, and slugs, that they may locate in the wild.
Typically, Ohio’s eastern region is where one may find pickerel frogs. These medium-sized frogs have irregular square-like markings on their dorsal surface and are tan or light brown in color.
These frogs resemble Northern Leopard frogs quite a bit, yet you can clearly tell them apart because to the pattern of their markings. These frogs’ spots are square, while Northern Leopard frogs’ spots are circular.
They may be found in a variety of settings, but they like chilly, clear water, and are typically found close to lakes and rivers that are highly forested. Additionally, they choose bogs and rocky ravines as their home.
These frogs consume both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates for food. They consume snails, crayfish, insects, and more. These frogs’ calls resemble a cow’s mooing quite a little. Their call volume is so low that you won’t be able to find them using that information.
Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
The Western and Central areas of Ohio are home to this rare, tiny, and transient species. However, during the winter, they quickly go into hibernation. Small bumps strewn throughout the bodies of Blanchard’s Cricket Frogs give them away. They come in a variety of hues, from grey to brown (CTNF).
These frogs reproduce from May to July, depositing their eggs in ponds or marshes, either alone or in groups. In a chorus, their call—a metallic clicking noise—can be grating.
Ohio is a wonderful location for study and fieldwork due to the quantity of these species in the many locations where they are found. Three toad species, including the Eastern Spadefoot, Eastern American Toad, and Fowler’s Toad, are also found in Ohio.