The Robins Nature Center is home to several species of frogs. The Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea) and Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) belong to the genus Hyla, which means “tree”. Their specially adapted sticky toe pads allow them to climb trees easily. They are found in central and southwestern Virginia and throughout the eastern United States.
Green and Gray tree frogs are found in wooded areas in close proximity to bodies of water, such as creeks, vernal pools, and rivers. They are able to survive in temperatures below freezing, and have the ability to become lighter or darker in order to mimic their surroundings. They eat a variety of insects such as moths, crickets, and grasshoppers.
Anaxyrus americanus, Hyla versicolor, Hyla cinerea
1.3-4 in long
HABITAT & RANGE
Typically large, permanent water bodies like swamps, ponds and lakes throughout the U.S.
- Gray tree frogs do not hybridize due to the different pulse rate and pitch of male mating calls.
- Green tree frogs use the parietal organ between their eyes to navigate and thermoregulate their bodies.
- Both green and gray tree frogs have sticky toe pads that allow them to climb trees easily.
- Green tree frogs use the parietal organ between their eyes for navigation and to thermoregulate their bodies.
- American toads defend themselves by secreting a toxic, milky substance from their skin.
- American toads are known for laying their 2,000-20,000 eggs in continuous strands that look like strings of pearls floating in the water.
- Green and gray tree frogs will live for about 6-9 years in the wild, while American toads live between 5-10 years. Without natural environmental pressures in captivity, they can live much longer. One American toad lived to be upwards of 30 years old in captivity.
- The most common frogs and toads in Virginia are spring peepers, upland chorus frogs, pickerel frogs, green frogs, American bullfrogs, green and gray tree frogs, eastern cricket frogs, American toads, and Fowler’s toads.