Late Season Hyla*

Top Photo: Juvenile green treefrogs (2) huddle safe and secure inside unfurling leaves during late summer (look carefully).

Both young and adult green treefrogs rely heavily on their color and posture to “hide” themselves from possible predation. They often, though, squeeze down into tight nooks or recesses for added protection, as the juveniles in the above photo illustrate.

Relying on coloration to avoid being eaten.

We installed three artificial “hides” around the outdoor exhibits for our resident treefrogs. And, believe it or not, there are still frogs taking advantage of these secure locations despite the chill of November and early December.

Dinosaur Trail frog pipe.
Water’s Edge frog pipe.
Earth Moves frog pipe.
Green treefrog in pipe.

Most treefrogs, when confronted with cold temperatures, burrow down into the leaf liter or find a crevice or other secure space to spend the winter. But, with our recent warm-cold-warm-cold weather the frogs are lured out of a not so deep sleep. I actually heard an upland chorus frog singing last week!

In situations like above, the frogs are often caught out in the cold and may appear very dark and lethargic. The frog below was spotted after several days with night temperatures in the sixties followed by a cold front and its concomitant temperature drop, a drop of more than twenty degrees in a few short hours.

A cold green treefrog about to burrow back under the leaves.

The frog slowly made its way back to relative warmth and safety below the leaf liter and presumably back to sleep.

*Hyla: Short for the family of which green treefrogs belong, Hylidae.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.