The eastern gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) common gray treefrog or tetraploid gray treefrog is only different from the Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) in distribution, call and chromosomal count.
You can listen to the subtle differences in their calls below:
Eastern Grey Tree Frog – Hyla versicolor
Copes Grey Tree Frog – Hyla chrysoscelis
They are comparatively small compared to other North American frog species, with an average size of 1.5” to 2” inches (3.8 to 5.1 cm).
He blends right into the tree bark!
As the scientific name implies, gray treefrogs are variable in color from gray to green, depending on what they are attached to. These guys can camouflage themselves like karma chameleons! They change color at a slower rate than chameleons, however they can change from nearly black to nearly white.
Treefrogs have a cupped toes and glands that produce a sticky mucous within them that allows them to climb high into the trees, sometimes being found 50′ feet high (16M).
These frogs rarely ever descend from high treetops except for breeding and hibernation*.
In the winter, they hibernate near the surface, just under the leaf litter. They are capable of surviving freezing temperatures as low as 18F (-8C). Special proteins in their blood, called ‘nucleating proteins’, cause the water in their blood to freeze first. This ice, intakes most of the water out of the frog’s cells. Meanwhile, the frog’s liver produces large amounts of glucose (sugar) which flows into the cells to keep them from collapsing.
In my opinion, a pretty cool trick 😉
*or to say hello to his friend, Ilex!
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl