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Appearance: Barking Treefrogs are the largest native treefrog in the United States. They range in size from 5 to almost 7 cm. (2 - 2 5/8 in.) in length. Although highly variable in coloration, Barking Treefrogs are generally some shade of green, with round or oval ocelli usually present on the dorsum. The color of these treefrogs can change from dark brown or bright green to pale gray to yellow. Other identifying characters include strongly granular skin, an irregular white lateral line, a cream-colored venter, a white upper lip, and large toepads. Males have a greenish or yellow throat and a huge, rounded, subgular vocal sac.
Habits and Habitat: Barking Treefrogs are climbers and burrowers. This species can be found in open, mixed woodlands, farmlands, pasture ponds, and Gopher Tortoise burrows. In hot, dry weather, barking treefrogs often take shelter in the sand or soil beneath roots or under clumps of vegetation. These treefrogs forage high in trees and on the ground—often feeding on crickets.
Vocalization: Barking Treefrogs have 2 calls. The first call is a single, loud, explosive "doonk" or "toonk" that is repeated at intervals of 1 or 2 seconds. The treetop rain call is a barking call of 9 or 10 raucous syllables, often called in a chorus with other hylids—usually green treefrogs, and species with which Barking Treefrogs are known to interbreed.
Reproduction/Egg Description: Barking Treefrogs are spring and summer breeders (April to August). One female may deposit as many as several thousand eggs, which are laid singly or in masses of several hundred. The tadpoles can be up to 5 cm. (2 in.) in length, making these the largest tadpoles of any treefrog in the United States. The tadpoles take 1-1/2 to 2 months to metamorphose.
Distribution and Abundance: Barking Treefrogs occur from southeastern Virginia to South Florida and West to eastern Louisiana. The species is found chiefly in the Coastal Plain but also in many upland areas. Isolated colonies exist in Delaware, Maryland, southwestern Kentucky, and Tennessee. Barking Treefrogs were introduced in southern New Jersey, but are now probably extinct there. Barking Treefrogs are common in some areas, but have declined in areas heavily affected by human activities such as development of wetland habitats.
SE ARMI Index Sites: Everglades National Park, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge