Anura Acris crepitans -- Northern Cricket Frog
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Purple shade indicates vouchered specimens. Light blue (cyan)
shade indicates photographic records. Yellow shade indicates verified
sighting. Slanted hatch indicates pre-1980 records only
NOTE: Not all specimens upon which these maps are based have been verified.
Key Characters: Warty skin; tiny toe pads; dark triangle between eyes.
Similar Species: Young western and upland chorus frogs.
Subspecies: Blanchard's cricket frog, A. c. blanchardi.
Description: Small (up to 3 cm SVL) olive brown frog with an elongate green or red stripe on back and a light line from eye to shoulder. Belly pale except for dark throat of male. Extensive webbing between toes of hind feet, dark stripe on posterior surface of thigh, and white wart on each side of cloacal opening.
Habitat: Shallow margins of lakes, ponds, marshes, and streams, where they are active even in very cold weather.
Natural History: This small frog commonly leaps into water when disturbed, then almost immediately swims back to shore. Adult diet includes small terrestrial insects and spiders. Breeds usually from late April to August. Male calls while floating on water or on mats of algae or duckweed and emits a series of sharp clicks, cricketlike or like the sound of striking marbles. Female lays masses of 10-15 tiny eggs (up to 200 eggs total), which hatch in a few days. Tadpole has black-tipped tail and transforms by mid-September.
Status: Threats are not well understood. Once one of the most common
frogs in the Midwest, but it has declined over much of northern Illinois.