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Southeast Ecological Science Center

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Pinewoods Treefrog
Hyla femoralis
(click images to enlarge)

Hyla femoralis - Pinewoods Treefrog -adult
Appearance:  Pinewoods Treefrogs are highly variable in their appearance. This is a fairly small treefrog, ranging in size from 2.5 to almost 4 cm. (1-1.5 in.). The most distinctive features of this frog are the light (yellow or orange) oval spots on the concealed surface of the thigh and the presence of a thin, dark line originating at the snout and passing through the eye and down each side of the body.  Pinewoods Hyla femoralis - Pinewoods Treefrog -juvenileTreefrogs have highly variable ground colors, and may be brick red, dark brown, silvery gray, or bright green.  Dark, sometimes faint, dorsal blotches are usually visible. Like many members of the treefrog family, Pinewoods Treefrogs sometimes have a dark, interorbital blotch. During the breeding season, males have a dark throat with a rounded subgular vocal sac.

Habits and Habitat: Pinewoods treefrogs occupy a variety of habitats in the Coastal Plain of the Southeast. This species may live up to their name by inhabiting pine flatwoods, but they occur in their greatest densitieHyla femoralis - Pinewoods Treefrog -adults in more hydric habitats such as forested or shrub wetlands and cypress swamps, around lake and pond edges, or in wet prairies. Pinewoods Treefrogs are highly arboreal, and may climb as high as 30 feet into the canopy in forested habitats. In the cooler months, Pinewoods Treefrogs may sometimes be found beneath logs or Hyla femoralis - Pinewoods Treefrog - note green color phasewithin snags and rotting stumps. They emerge in the spring for the breeding season, or in unseasonably warm periods throughout the year.

Vocalization: The Pinewoods Treefrog vocalization has been described as a"dot-and-dash" call that sounds like Morse code. The call is frequently heard coming from high in the trees, and single individuals often call during the day in spring and summer.  This frog's rain call sounds like a slower version of the Hyla femoralis - Pinewoods Treefrog -adultbreeding call and has been described as the distant chattering of a squirrel.

Reproduction/Egg Description:  Pinewoods Treefrog breeding calls can be heard from April to September (March - October in Florida).  The breeding sites are often in ephemeral ponds.  This species lays several clusters of 20-100 eggs which are either left to float freely or are attached to floating or submersed vegetation.
Hyla femoralis - Pinewoods Treefrog -juvenile
Distribution and Abundance: Pinewoods Treefrogs occur throughout the southeastern Coastal Plain from extreme southeastern Louisiana through the Gulf States to Florida and up the East Coast to coastal Virginia. This is a common species throughout most of its range. In many habitats in the Deep South this is the most abundant treefrog.

SE ARMI Index Sites: Everglades National Park, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.



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