boreal chorus frog

(Pseudacris maculata)

Conservation Status
boreal chorus frog
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure


not listed


Boreal chorus frog is one of the smallest frogs in Minnesota, ¾ to 17 16long at maturity. Females are larger than males.

The body is long and slender. The background color of the upperside is a gradation from a lighter to a darker color; usually tan to brown or reddish-brown, or green to gray. The belly is light brown or cream colored and unmarked. There are three narrow, longitudinal, irregular, stripes of a darker color down the back. The stripes may be more or less broken into a row of spots. Another dark stripe runs from the snout, through the eye, and down the side of the body. The upper lip is white. The male has a dark throat sac.

The legs are short relative to the body. The toe pads are tiny.




This frog is seldom seen but often heard. The distinctive call of the male is a “prreep” lasting one to two seconds and repeated in one to two seconds. It is often compared to running one’s thumb over the fine teeth of a comb. Use an Ace brand (harder plastic) pocket comb and start in the middle. The result, like the call of the frog, is a slow trill ascending over the entire length of the call. They often sing in large groups, suggesting the common name “chorus frog.”




¾ to 17 16


Similar Species


Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) has dark markings on the back that form a distinctive X shape.


Breeding (March to May): Temporary pools, shallow wetlands, and shallow parts of lakes; always near woodlands.

Summer (May to ??): Grasslands and fields near trees, forest edges, urban areas; all with wetlands nearby.




Males continue to call in June and July, after the breeding season.

With their short legs these frogs are not very acrobatic and do not climb well.




3 to 5 years


Life Cycle


Adults overwinter, partially frozen, beneath rocks or logs. They emerge in late March or early April, often while snow and ice are still present. Males call to attract females. Breeding begins immediately and is usually complete by June 1. The female lays small round clusters of 20 to 300 eggs, eventually laying up to 2,500 eggs, on submerged plants. The eggs hatch in 3 to 14 days, and tadpoles transform into adults in 50 to 70 days, depending on the temperature of the water. They live 3 to 5 years.


Tadpole Food




Adult Food


Small insects, spiders, and other invertebrates


Distribution Map



4, 7, 14, 24, 29, 30, 73, 76, 78.




Common and widespread

  Class Amphibia (amphibians)  
  Superorder Batrachia (amphibians)  
  Order Anura (frogs and toads)  
  Suborder Neobatrachia  
  Superfamily Hyloidea  


Hylidae (tree frogs and allies)  




Pseudacris (chorus frogs)  

Most sources place the genus Pseudacris in the large subfamily Hylinae, including NCBI, AmphibiaWeb, and Amphibian Species of the World 6.1. ITIS and iNaturalist place the genus in the narrowly circumscribed subfamily Acridinae. Wikipedia is inconsistent but on the genus page it lists the subfamily as Acrisinae, and on that subfamily page lists Acridinae as a synonym.

This species was formerly classified as (Pseudacris triseriata maculata), a subspecies of western chorus frog.




Chorophilus septentrionalis

Hyla canadensis

Hyla triseriata maculata

Hylodes maculatus

Pseudacris nigrita septentrionalis


Common Names


boreal chorus frog





















Visitor Photos

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Matt Klocke

    spring peeper      

Bill Reynolds

    boreal chorus frog   boreal chorus frog  






Pseudacris maculata
Todd Pierson

  Pseudacris maculata  

Boreal Chorus Frog




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

Published on Apr 30, 2012

No description available.

  Prairie Life: Sounds of Spring
Carl Barrentine

Published on May 7, 2013

Male Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata) begin to sing when ambient temperatures finally bump-up beyond the mid-sixties. Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (07 May 2013). Thanks to Laci Prucinsky for making me aware of the species-level taxonomic change for this small anuran!

  Calling Boreal Chorus Frogs in Northern Ontario

Published on May 7, 2012

Sounds of calling Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata) on Lake Superior.

May 5, 2012. Town of Marathon, Thunder Bay District (48.73987, -86.39231)




Visitor Sightings

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  Matt Klocke

Location: Ottertail County, MN

spring peeper

  Bill Reynolds

Location: Pennington Co. MN

These little guys are all over my yard lately.

boreal chorus frog  




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