Welcome back to Frog Friday!
The charismatic-looking Green Treefrog ranges throughout Virginia’s Coastal Plain, including the Eastern Shore. After warm summer rains, these frogs may be heard calling in large choruses of hundreds to thousands of individuals!
Green Treefrogs are a medium-sized (1-¼ – 2-½ inches long), slender, and bright green with smooth skin. Most have a light yellow or white stripe along their sides and many also have tiny gold flecks on their backs. Their bellies are white. Like other treefrogs, the Green Treefrog has long limbs and sticky toe pads that help it cling to surfaces.
As their name suggests, Green Treefrogs spend much of their time in trees, but during the summer breeding season, look for these frogs sitting on floating and emergent plants along the swampy edges of ponds, lakes, marshes, and streams. You’ll have to look carefully though; their bright green skin camouflages them very well with their green surroundings. At night, when they become more active, you may find them clinging to or around houses seeking the insects that get attracted by outdoor lights.
Green Treefrogs are currently in the tail-end of their breeding season, which typically runs April–August. During this season, females lay up to 1,000 eggs in small clusters. After the next rainfall, listen for the nasal call of the Green Treefrog, “quenk, quenk, quenk.” This call can be repeated up to 75 times per minute!
Call of the Green Treefrog
This article is presented as part of our year-long Virginia is for Frogs campaign. Please visit the campaign webpage to learn more about Virginia’s 27 frog species and ways that you can become involved in their conservation. Are you an educator? Check out the Virginia is for Frogs Teacher’s Corner for frog-related lesson plans and activities.