gray treefrog

(Dryophytes versicolor)

Conservation Status
gray treefrog
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Gray treefrog is a small, solitary, nocturnal frog. It is 1¼ to 2 long at maturity. Females are larger than males.

The upper (dorsal) surface is warty. There are usually dark blotches outlined in black. The background color can change in seconds from green, light grayish-green, gray, brown, or dark brown. The color is determined by the color of the background, the season, and the humidity. It is most often some shade of gray. There is usually a large, irregular, dark blotch on the back. Beneath each eye there is a large spot, white and prominent on males, olive and less noticeable on females.

The belly is white. On females the chin is pale olive-gray. On males the chin is darker gray.

The toes end in large adhesive pads. On males, the lower (ventral) side of the hind legs is bright yellow or yellowish-orange.

 
     
 

Voice

 
 

A slow trill lasting 1 to 3 seconds, not varying in pitch

 
     
 

Size

 
 

1¼ to 2

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Cope’s gray treefrog (Dryophytes chrysoscelis) is almost indistinguishable morphologically. The dorsal surface is not as rough and is more often unblotched. If blotched, the blotches are often not outlined in black. The only reliable ways to distinguish between the two species is by listening to their calls or examining their chromosomes under a microscope. The call of Cope's gray treefrog is a faster trill with about twice as many notes. They prefer more open habitats, including prairies and savannas.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Forest edges, wooded areas near permanent or temporary waters. Near street lamps and lighted buildings at night.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are usually found high in trees, on mossy or lichen-covered fences, or sometimes in abandoned bird houses. They are rarely found on the ground except in breeding season.

During breeding season the adult’s background color is usually green.

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

Unknown. Probably 5 to 7 years.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Breeding occurs from April to July, peaking in May to June. After breeding, the female will deposit 450 to 600 packets of 30 to 40 eggs each on emergent vegetation at the surface of a shallow pond or a permanent or temporary pool. The eggs hatch in about three weeks and metamorphosis occurs about four weeks later. The tadpole is about 2 long preceding metamorphosis.

Adults live 5 to 7 years. They overwinter under the shelter of a log, rock, bark, or leaf litter. They are freeze tolerant and can survive multiple freeze-thaw cycles. Glycerine is produced preventing the formation of ice crystals in vital organs.

 
     
 

Tadpole Food

 
 

Algae, material from dead and decaying plants and animals (detritus).

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Insects, insect larvae, mites, spiders, plant lice, harvestmen, snails, and smaller frogs.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

11, 12, 13, 14, 24, 29, 73

 
  9/18/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

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

Family

Hylidae (tree frogs)  
 

Subfamily

Hylinae  
  Tribe Hylini  
 

Genus

Dryophytes  
       
 

Gray treefrog and Cope’s gray treefrog were, until 1968, considered the same species.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Dryophytes versicolor phaeocrypta

Dryophytes versicolor versicolor

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

chameleon treefrog

common gray treefrog

eastern gray treefrog

gray treefrog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this amphibian.

 
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Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Bill Giese

 
    gray treefrog   gray treefrog  
 

Pamala Roland

 
 

Found on a wall in my living room. Covered with cat hair.

 
    gray treefrog      
 

Mike Poeppe

 
 

I had an opportunity to capture a grey tree frog on our window the other evening. I thought it was a great way for people to see the bottom side of one without disturbing them!

  gray treefrog  
 

White Bear

 
 

Discovered hanging of front of gas grill after lighting, rescued him of course!

 
    gray treefrog      
 

Frog Lover

 
 

Hangs out in Magnolia tree and on lighted deck

 
    gray treefrog   gray treefrog  
 

Ramona Abrego

 
    gray treefrog   gray treefrog  
 

Julie Nelson

 
 

Been hanging around for a while now.

 
    gray treefrog      
 

Reba Twito

 
 

Little frog out for an evening stroll.

 
    gray treefrog      
 

Phillip

 
 

One with flash and one without

 
    gray treefrog   gray treefrog  
 

Kirk Nelson

 
    gray treefrog      
 

Brian Blom

 
 

Gray Tree Frog on Sedum

 
    treefrog      
           
 

Gray Tree Frog on Wild Rice

 
    treefrog      
 

James Folden

 
 

Found around 8am on our patio table

 
    gray treefrog      
 

Randy

 
 

Gray tree frog perched in a bald cypress at marsh's edge, Freeborn County, Minn., June 2017

 
    treefrog   bald cypress  
 

Bill Reynolds

 
    gray treefrog      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 

Dryophytes versicolor (Eastern Gray Treefrog)
Allen Chartier

  Dryophytes versicolor (Eastern Gray Treefrog)  

Dryophytes versicolor
krloucks

  Dryophytes versicolor  
 
About

Gray Treefrog

 

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this amphibian.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Gray Treefrog & Cope's Gray Treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor & Dryophytes chrysoscelis)
WisCBMnetwork
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 30, 2012

No description available.

 
  Gray treefrog calling
TSTPtv
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 13, 2013

Did you ever want to know what a Gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) sounds like?

 
  Gray/Grey treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) calling: Video
Ryan M. Bolton
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 23, 2007

Gray treefrog calling.
Filmed and edited by Ryan M. Bolton, MSc

 
  Eastern gray treefrog calling
HerpNet
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 20, 2009

Eastern gray treefrog calling

 

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this amphibian.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Pamala Roland
8/17/2021

Location: Caledonia Minnesota

Found on a wall in my living room. Covered with cat hair.

gray treefrog

 
  Mike Poeppe
6/12/2021

Location: Houston Co.

I had an opportunity to capture a grey tree frog on our window the other evening. I thought it was a great way for people to see the bottom side of one without disturbing them!

gray treefrog

 
  White Bear
7/29/2020

Location: White Bear Lake, MN

Discovered hanging of front of gas grill after lighting, rescued him of course!

gray treefrog

 
  Frog Lover
July 2020

Location: Waseca, Minnesota

Hangs out in Magnolia tree and on lighted deck

gray treefrog

 
  Julie Nelson
6/2/2020

Location: Grand Marais, Mn.

Been hanging around for a while now. 

gray treefrog

 
  Reba Twito
9/17/2019

Location: Maplewood

gray treefrog

 
  Brenda
Camacho

7/10/2019

Location: New Ulm, MN

eastern gray treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) Australian tree frog

2 solid green, 2", climbing up house window

 
  Phillip
8/23/2018

Location: Maplewood

gray treefrog

 
  Mike
8/16/2018

Location: Mound View, MN

Have at least 2 living in flower pots on our deck

 

 
  John T Bower
7/16/2018

Location: Northern Wash Co MN

I have not seen any tree frogs this year and few last year. Almost no bats last year and this year. I live in a tree forest.

 
  Kirk Nelson
9/4/2017

Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park

gray treefrog

 
  Brian Blom
8/25/2017

Location: Crow Wing County, Deerwood

Gray Tree Frog on Sedum

gray treefrog

 
  Wityman
7/2/2017

Location: LeSueur county, by Lake Washington

Found around 8am on our patio table

gray treefrog

 
  Randy
June, 2017

Location: Freeborn County, MN

Gray tree frog perched in a bald cypress at marsh's edge, Freeborn County, Minn., June 2017

bald cypress

 
  Bill Reynolds
6/22/2013

Location: Pennington Co., MN

gray treefrog

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


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