The Gray Treefrog
The Gray Tree Frog’s name comes from the latin word Hyla Versicolor, which has chameleon like abilities to change colours.
The gray tree frog may be found in many types of tree and shrub communities located near permanent water. The species usually lives in woodlands but may also frequent orchards. The gray treefrog is a true “tree frog”: it can be found at the top of even the tallest trees. These frogs are rarely seen outside the breeding season. When they are not active, they hide in tree holes, under bark, in rotten logs, and under leaves and tree roots. Gray tree frogs overwinter under leaf litter and snow cover. Their eggs and larvae develop in shallow woodland ponds and marshes, puddles, ponds in forest clearings, swamps, bogs and many other kinds of permanent or temporary water bodies that have no significant current, including ponds that humans have excavated. (Skelly, 1992; Harding, 1997)
Treefrogs depend on forests. Therefore, habitat loss and degradation due to clearcutting, roads, agriculture and urbanization are the main threats to these frogs. Their tendency to remain in trees, coupled with excellent camouflage, probably serve as effective defense against predation.
If kept in captivity or as a house pet, provide a small water dish for them to soak in. It does not need to be too large but should allow frogs to fully soak in it at night, which they may often do. Chlorinated tap water is not safe for use and should be treated with an aquarium product that removes and neutralizes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals before they submerge in it.
Gray tree frogs have a large appetite. They accept most soft-bodied invertebrates including crickets, moths, flies, waxworms, small silkworms and earthworms. The majority of a gray tree frog diet should consist of live crickets. Offer crickets every two or three days. Usually between three and six crickets per frog is enough. Every few feedings, a different type of food can be substituted for crickets. Juvenile frogs should be fed more frequently than adults, as often as every day. Coat crickets and other food items in high quality powder vitamin and mineral supplements designed for reptiles and amphibians. These supplements help ensure nutritional requirements are met. Use them at every other feeding for adult gray tree frogs and at every feeding for juveniles.
Eastern Gray Tree Frogs can live to be 7 to 9 years old in the wild, and 7 years in captivity.
Gray Tree frogs are polygynous (more than 1 female partner at a time). The female choice dominates the mating scheme of gray treefrogs, since the female approaches the male with the most prolonged and frequent calls. If a male frog nearby hears he will entice her with a mating call back. Successful calling results in amplexus as the female deposits eggs which are externally fertilized by the male. Almost immediately, the large egg mass breaks into small, loose egg clusters of 10 to 40 eggs attach to plants or other structures within the pond. Depending on the water temperature, the tadpoles hatch in three to seven days. (Harding, 1997)
Dryophytes versicolor . (n.d.). Retrieved November 29, 2017, from http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/55687/0
Gray Tree Frog Pet Care Sheet >> Amphibian Care. (2017, August 28). Retrieved December 01, 2017, from http://amphibiancare.com/2012/10/22/gray-tree-frog/
Web, A. D. (n.d.). Critter Catalog. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Hyla_versicolor/
Mueller, L. A. (n.d.). Hyla versicolor (Gray Treefrog). Retrieved December 01, 2017, from http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hyla_versicolor/