American Green Tree Frog?

The American green tree frog (Dryophytes cinereus) is a common species of New World tree frog belonging to the family Hylidae. A common backyard species, it is popular as a pet, and is the state amphibian of Georgia and Louisiana.

Males have wrinkled throats (indicating the vocal pouch) and are slightly smaller than females. Male Dryophytes cinereus callingBecause these frogs are small and easily frightened, they often do not do well with frequent handling.

American green tree frogs vary in color.Most American green tree frog females breed once per year, but some have multiple clutches in a single mating season . [2] In a Florida population, “advertisement calls of males were documented between March and September and pairs in amplexus were observed between April and August.” In the Florida population, the average number of offspring in a single clutch was observed to be about 400 eggs .

[2] While “the relative influence of these factors is not well understood,” it is known as the frogs generally breed following rainfall, and males call more frequently as temperature and day length increase. [2] Once a mate has been attracted, the pair begins amplexus, in which “the male tightly grasps onto the female to bring their cloacal openings close together for fertilization .” A study found that their calls compete acoustically with each other due to their similarity which limits communication space.

In order to compete with the Cuban tree frog, green tree frogs modified their call to be shorter, louder, and more frequent so that potential mates have better chances of detecting the call. American green tree frogs are insectivores , usually consuming flies , mosquitoes , and other small insects such as crickets. [2] The same study showed “nearly 90% of Hyla cinerea prey were actively pursued,” with the other 10% being “insects walking or close enough to be snatched up by the frog‘s tongue.”

The frogs are popular pets because of their small size, appearance, and the undemanding conditions needed to take care of them. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Matthew Nichols and Karen Francl, ” Hyla cinerea (green treefrog) .”

Is the American green tree frog poisonous?

While there are a few poisonous tree frogs in the world, the green tree frog is not one of them. While most tree frogs secrete a toxic venom when stressed, this does not make them naturally poisonous. … Poison dart frogs are among the most poisonous animals in the world.

Can you touch a green tree frog?

Can you touch a green tree frog? American green tree frogs are timid creatures, and it’s best to avoid touching them. … Frogs have extremely porous skin because they absorb oxygen through their skin. If you have the slightest residue of soap, oil or other chemicals on your hands, a frog can absorb this and become ill.

What do American green tree frogs eat?

These frogs eat all kinds of insects and are often found around outdoor lights at night where insects congregate. In captivity, they will eat crickets, flies, moths, and worms, but they may also need some vitamin supplements.

Animals Wildlife 10 Interesting Facts About American Green Tree Frogs They’re abundant, adaptable, and have an appetite for mosquitoes. By Russell McLendon Russell McLendon Writer University of Georgia Russell McLendon is a science writer with expertise in the natural environment, humans, and wildlife. He holds degrees in journalism and environmental anthropology. Learn about our editorial process Updated September 21, 2020 The American green tree frog occurs across a swath of the U.S. Southeast. kristianbell / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Animals Wildlife Pets Animal Rights Endangered Species The American green tree frog is a staple of summer nights in the U.S. South, where its groaning call echoes through countless swamps, forests, fields, and backyards. Yet even for many people who share their habitats, hear them sing, and sometimes see them by their porch lights, these frogs are easily overlooked and undervalued. Here are a few interesting things you may not know about green tree frogs. 1. They Have a Wide Range An American green tree frog at Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. Greg Schechter / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 American green tree frogs can adapt to a variety of habitats, as long as they have a few key resources available. They range along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Delaware to South Florida to South Texas, and inland as far as Oklahoma, Missouri, and southern Illinois. The American green tree frog is the official state amphibian for both Louisiana and Georgia, two states where it is widespread. 2. They Live in Arboreal Habitats As their name suggests, green tree frogs are largely arboreal (tree-dwelling). Yet while they spend much of their lives in trees, they also need clean water, especially in breeding season. The species is commonly found near ponds, lakes, streams, marshes, and other wetlands, where they seem to prefer habitats with lots of floating plants (like lily pads and duckweed), grasses, or cattails. 3. They Can ‘Honk’ 75 Times Per Minute Green tree frogs are sometimes known as “bell frogs” in honor of their advertisement call (or mating call), which is an abrupt nasal honk or bark repeated up to 75 times per minute. During the breeding season, roughly March to October, males often congregate to sing from weedy, watery habitats, typically perched on floating vegetation or other plants within about 2 inches (5 cm) of the surface. This mating song is distinct from their other calls, which serve purposes like defending territory or announcing rainfall, and can be heard by females from at least 300 yards (274 meters) away. Listen to an American green tree frog‘s mating call on the National Park Service’s sound gallery. 4. They Provide Free Pest Control Green tree frogs are insectivores, so their survival depends on their ability to find enough flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects to eat. Not only are many pesticides directly toxic to frogs, sometimes killing them with alarming speed, but they can also indirectly threaten the amphibians by choking off their food supply. The species poses no known negative effects for humans, and it can benefit us with its appetite for troublesome insects like mosquitoes. 5. They Aren’t Always Green Green tree frogs often become more brown or gray while inactive during cooler, drier weather. Judy Gallagher / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 The skin of an American green tree frog is usually lime green, but it can vary in color depending on the animal’s activity. A green tree frog may look olive green, brown, or gray when cool and resting, but then return to its vivid green color once it’s warm and active again. The frogs also have a white, yellow, or sometimes iridescent stripe along each side of their body, although the length of these stripes varies among populations, and some green tree frogs don’t have them at all. Some also have yellow or golden flecks overlaying the green color of their backs. 6. Their Lives Revolve Around Rain Green tree frogs tend to be energized by recent rainfall. NC Wetlands / Flickr / public domain Several factors determine when green tree frogs breed, including day length, temperature, and precipitation. Rainfall seems to be especially significant, as the species generally breeds after rainfall. And while the relative importance of these factors isn’t well understood, the species generally breeds after rainfall. Rain is so important, in fact, the frogs have developed a “rain call” that’s distinct from their mating or alarm calls. Some people even refer to the species as “rain frogs,” and consider them good predictors of rainy weather. 7. They Lay Hundreds of Eggs at a Time Once a female frog has responded to a male’s calls and he has fertilized her eggs, she deposits her clutch in shallow water among aquatic plants. The size of that clutch can vary widely, but it often features several hundred eggs. The average number of eggs can range from about 700 (southern Illinois) or 800 (Georgia) as high as 2,100 (Arkansas). The fertilized eggs will hatch after about a week, and the tadpoles will complete their metamorphosis into frogs within about a month. 8. They Are Abundant Green tree frogs often capitalize on electric lights to help them hunt insects at night. Rusty Clark / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 Although many frogs and other amphibians are currently in decline around the world a crisis fueled largely by habitat loss, invasive species, and disease the American green tree frog seems to be an exception. It’s listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which notes its population is large, stable, and widespread, and the species isn’t known to face any major threats. 9. They Are Adaptable Some green tree frogs alter their calls when faced with acoustic competition. Clinton & Charles Robinson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 Green tree frogs do face some threats, though, and while the species may enjoy relative stability overall, some populations are safer than others. In Florida, for example, green tree frogs are one of several native species to face growing competition from Cuban tree frogs, an invasive species native to Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands. Not only do Cuban tree frogs outcompete and sometimes eat native tree frogs, but they also produce calls with similar timing and pitch to those of green tree frogs, threatening the native species with a new source of acoustic competition. At least some green tree frogs may be adapting to this threat. When their habitat is invaded by Cuban tree frogs, green tree frogs respond by modifying their own calls to be shorter and louder. 10. They’re Popular As Pets, But It’s Better to Admire Them From Afar American green tree frogs are small, charismatic, and relatively easy to care for, making them popular as pets. However, the pet trade can be hazardous for frogs in general, helping spread deadly pathogens like chytrid fungi. Anyone considering a pet frog should be diligent about its origins, and you should never take a frog from the wild. If you do commit to a frog as a pet, try to find one that was locally bred in captivity. Green tree frogs are generally timid and do not tolerate much handling, which can both stress them out and increase their risk of illness. They may be easy to care for, but they are not the cuddliest of pets. If you find one in the wild, whether in the backcountry or your backyard, try to admire it without picking it up. View Article Sources “Louisiana’s State Amphibian: The Green Treefrog, Hyla Cinerea.” Loyola University New Orleans, 2010. “Green Treefrog (Hyla Cinerea).” Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Brhl, Carsten A., et al. “Terrestrial Pesticide Exposure of Amphibians: An Underestimated Cause of Global Decline?” Scientific Reports, vol. 3, no. 1, 2013, doi:10.1038/srep01135 Nichols, Matthew. “Hyla Cinerea (Green Treefrog).” Animal Diversity Web. “Green Treefrog – Hyla Cinerea.” Nature Works. “Hyla Cinerea.” Amphibia Web. “Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus Septentrionalis).” USGS. Tennessen, Jennifer, et al. “Impacts of Acoustic Competition Between Invasive Cuban Treefrogs and Native Treefrogs in Southern Florida.” Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, vol. 19, no. 010057, 2013, pp. 2-5, doi:10.1121/1.4800972 Tennessen, Jennifer B., et al. “Raising a Racket: Invasive Species Compete Acoustically with Native Treefrogs.” Animal Behaviour, vol. 114, 2016, pp. 53-61, doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.01.021 Weldon, Ch, et al. “Origin of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention, vol. 10, no. 12, 2004.

Description: The green treefrog is relatively large, slender and usually bright green (but sometimes olive or brownish) with large toe pads and a white belly. Most individuals have scattered orange or gold flecks on their backs and a clearly defined ivory or yellow stripe along their upper jaws and their sides.

Hyla cinerea is commonly found in the central to southeastern United States. Its geographic range stretches from Virginia’s eastern shore to the southeast tip of Florida and as far west as central Texas. Green treefrogs can be found as far north as Maryland and Delaware. Despite being considered monotypic, clinal variation of Hyla cinerea has been observed from Florida north along the Atlantic Coastal Plain as a possible result of strong selection and/or drift. (Mitchell and Reay, 1999; Aresco, 1996; Mitchell and Reay, 1999)

In the final weeks of development the front and rear legs become fully functional and the tail starts to shorten. Average clutch size in a Florida population of green treefrogs was observed to be approximately 400 eggs.

In the Florida population, advertisement calls of males were documented between March and September and pairs in amplexus were observed between April and August. Green treefrogs are mobile and can be found in large groups during the breeding season, especially during peak times. According to Freed, nearly 90% of Hyla cinerea prey were actively pursued, the other 10% were insects walking or close enough to be snatched up by the frog‘s tongue.

Green treefrogs are one of the only species in the genus Hyla in the southeastern United States that typically breeds in areas with large predatory fish. Although green treefrogs are not considered a keystone species, they play a vital role ecosystems they inhabit. For example, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have a high affinity for fat and are easily introduced through the digestive system.

The thin, permeable skin of anurans puts them at a higher risk because compounds are so easily absorbed. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico. cryptic having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.

ectothermic animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature swamp a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation. Geographic Variation in the Morphology and Lateral Stripe of the Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea) in the Southeastern United States.

Parasites of the Green treefrog, Hyla cinerea, from Orange lake, Alachua county, Florida, U.S.A.. Abundance of Green Tree Frogs and Insects in Artificial Canopy Gaps in a Bottomland Hardwood Forest. Population Estimates of Hyla cinerea (Schneider) (Green Tree Frog) in an Urban Environment.


The frog is green, medium-sized, and up to 6 cm (2.5 in) long. Their bodies are usually green in shades ranging from bright yellowish-olive to lime green. The color can change depending on lighting or temperature. Small patches of gold or white may occur on the skin, and they may also have a white, pale yellow, or cream-colored lines running from their jaws or upper lips to their groins. They have smooth skin and large toe pads. Their abdomens are pale yellow to white. Males have wrinkled throats (indicating the vocal pouch) and are slightly smaller than females.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

These frogs are found in the central and south-eastern United States, with a geographic range from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to southeast Florida, with populations as far west as central Texas, and as far north as Delaware and southern New Jersey.Green tree frogs prefer habitats with plentiful floating vegetation, grasses, and cattails and are often found in small ponds, large lakes, marshes, and streams. They also are sometimes found at night in backyard swimming pools.


Because these frogs are small and easily frightened, they often do not do well with frequent handling. Some specimens do seem to tolerate occasional handling, however, so handling frequency should be determined on an individual basis. The little frogs tend to be nocturnal, and in captivity they will be the most active once the lights are off. Males frequently call most of the year, especially after being misted in the tank.


Most American green tree frog females breed once per year, but some have multiple clutches in a single mating season.Breeding is known to be strongly influenced by day length, temperature, and precipitation.”Males use a distinct advertisement call, “noticeably different than release or warning calls,” to attract mates.In southern Florida, the Cuban tree frog (American green tree frogs show no parental investment except for mating and egg-laying.


American green tree frogs are insectivores, usually consuming flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects such as crickets.

As pets[edit]

The frogs are popular pets because of their small size, appearance, and the undemanding conditions needed to take care of them. Unlike many amphibians, they do not require artificial heating. They need a large (at least ten-gallon) terrarium and do best with a substrate that will hold some humidity, such as commercial shredded bark or coconut husk bedding, or untreated topsoil on the floor of their terrarium. Tree frogs are arboreal, so the height on the tank is more important than the length. A variety of things for climbing, such as plants or branches, should be in the habitat. A shallow water dish should be included.

As state symbol[edit]

The green tree frog became the state amphibian of Louisiana in 1993