Mountain chorus frog
|Mountain chorus frog|
The mountain chorus frog (Pseudacris brachyphona) is a species of frog in the family Hylidae. The species is endemic to the United States. The natural habitats of P. brachyphona are temperate forests, rivers, intermittent rivers, swamps, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, freshwater springs, ponds, open excavations, and canals and ditches. It is threatened by habitat loss.
The mountain chorus frog is a small frog, but an intermediate size for the genus Pseudacris. It is colored different shades of grey or brown, including sorghum brown, deep brownish-drab, or mars brown. It is stocky in the body and broader in the head, which is very close to the structure and size of H. femoralis, the pine woods tree frog. The adult frog grows from 1.0 to 1.4 in (25 to 36 mm) in head and body length. The males are usually between 24 and 32 mm and the females between 27 and 34 mm. The mountain chorus frog has a triangle between the eyes and a white line on the upper lip; the male has a dark throat.
Geographic range and habitat
The mountain chorus frog can usually be found on the hillsides of southwestern Pennsylvania, western Maryland, southeastern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, northern Alabama, northern Mississippi, and Tennessee. They live on springy hillsides, grassy pools, and ditches, typically distant from water. The wooded hillsides where the frogs live are up to 3,500 feet (1,100 m) in elevation.
The mountain chorus frog has a unique call. It is a faster, higher note, and holds a distinct quality and form. The repetitions are quicker and the pitch higher. It resembles the call of the Pacific Chorus Frog rather closely but is less clearly two syllabled. When a whole chorus of them are heard, one can tell them apart from other groups. The Mountain chorus frog's call has a rate of 50 to 70 times a minute and can be continued for several minutes, though they usually stop in 15 to 20 seconds. This distinct call is rapid and can be heard on a clear night up to a quarter mile away. Their voice has a bit of a nasal quality to it and sounds like a wagon wheel turning that needs oil. It is a harsh, raspy "wreeck" or "reek" sound.
Mountain chorus frogs are part of the family Hylidae, also known as the tree frogs. Tree frogs are one of the largest families in the order Salientia (also called Anura). Because they are so colorful and have many acrobatic talents, they have been called the "clowns and high-wire artists" of the amphibian world. The almost 500 species of tree frogs are found all over the world, in tropical regions and to the Canadian woods, and Australia. They are found in places where toads are usually found.
The mountain chorus frog breeds in February through April. The female lays eggs in small, shallow bodies of water in the woods or waterways near the woods. If the frog lives near the base of a hill, it will lay eggs in ditches, pools along streams, or springs. The eggs are laid in groups of 10 to 50. They attach to vegetation and total about 500 eggs. The tadpole stage lasts for about 50 to 56 days. Once the tadpoles reach 8 mm, they metamorphose into frogs.
- Wright & Wright, pp. 230-231.
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