Anura

Field Guide to Maryland's Frogs and Toads (Order Anura)

Barking Treefrog

Family: Tree Frogs (Family Hylidae)

Common Name:
Barking Treefrog
Scientific Name:
Hyla gratiosa

Adult Barking Treefrog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Adult Barking Treefrog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith

Calling Barking Treefrog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Calling Barking Treefrog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith


Size:
  • 2 - 2⅝ inches
  • Record - 2¾ inches.

  • Appearance:
  • Like other Hylid treefrogs, this species is a real chameleon, changing its coloration depending on temperature, substrate color, mood, etc., though it mostly appears some shade of green on its back. 
  • Diagnostic round “rings” on back, which also has a very granular surface.
  • Our largest treefrog, though much overlap in size with the Green Treefrog. 
  • Large adhesive toe pads.

  • Habitats:


    Photo of  habitat for Barking Treefrog, courtesy of Maryland Land Incentive Program
    Photo of  Habitat for Barking Treefrog,
    courtesy of the Landowner Incentive Program

  • This is a species of Carolina (Delmarva) Bays, vernal pools and adjacent sandy-soiled woods. 
  • They spend a lot of time up high in the treetops, but are also burrowers, thus the need for sandy soils.

  • How to Find:
  • Listen for its two calls:
    1. a “bark” like a dog usually repeated 8-10 times from high in the treetops, and
    2. an explosive bassy “dooonk” repeated every few seconds from the water on humid mid-summer nights.
  • June and July are the key breeding months in Maryland.

  • Distribution in Maryland:

    Maryland Distribution Map for Barking Treefrog

    Camoflauged adult Barking Tree Frog, photo courtesy of Corey Wickliffe