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Anura Pseudacris crucifer -- Spring Peeper
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: Large toe pads; dark "X" on back; dark spot or narrow bar between eyes.
Similar Species: Gray treefrogs, bird-voiced treefrog.
Description: Small (up to 3.5 cm SVL) tan, brown, or gray frog with dark diagonal lines suggesting an "X" on back. Belly white, sometimes with dark flecks. Snout projects beyond lower jaw when viewed in profile. No light spot under eye, or light stripe on upper jaw. Male with folded skin under throat indicating vocal pouch.
Habitat: Mesic forests, on trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Most often seen around woodland pools in spring; seldom seen outside breeding season. Breeds in ponds and water-filled depressions in upland forest.
Natural History: Aptly named because it is one of first frogs to call each spring. Diet consists of small insects and spiders. Mates late February through May; some males call in autumn. Call is a soft, clear, ascending "peeeep" repeated about once each second and heard both day and night. Males commonly call in alternating duets or trios while perched in vegetation over water or on surface of water. Several hundred eggs per female, attached singly to sticks or leaf petioles, hatch in a few days, and tadpoles transform in about two months.
Status: Found throughout much of the state, especially along wooded floodplains and wooded uplands where it may be locally common (see distribution map, above).