Field Guide to Maryland's Frogs and Toads (Order Anura)
Treefrogs (Family Hylidae)
Treefrogs are relatively small anurans. They have a slim waist, long thin limbs and most have toes that terminate in distinctly enlarged discs or pads (except for the eastern cricket frog in Maryland). Treefrogs are distinguished from one another by a number of characteristics including, the type of dorsal markings they possess, the length of the back limbs, the presence or absence of a light spot under the eye and along the upper lip, and the size of the toepads.
There are a total of nine species of treefrogs in three genera that can be found in Maryland. Members of the three genera (Hyla, Pseudacris, and Acris) can be distinguished from one another using fairly obvious physical characteristics.
- Hyla species are primarily arboreal and have greatly enlarged pads at the terminal ends of the digits to facilitate climbing. They lack dark longitudinal lines or “X” shaped markings on the dorsum. Hyla species include the barking treefrog (Hyla gratiosa), gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor), Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis), and green treefrog (Hyla cinerea).
- Pseudacris species are small and have longitudinal lines or an “X” shaped mark on the dorsum. Although the toe-pads are distinct, they are not as large as the toe-pads of Hyla species. Pseudacris species include the mountain chorus frog (Pseudacris brachyphona), New Jersey chorus frog (Pseudacris kalmi), upland chorus frog (Pseudacris feriarum), and northern spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer).
- The genus Acris is represented by one species in Maryland: the eastern cricket frog (Acris crepitans crepitans). This species is characterized by a longitudinal dark stripe on the rear surface of the thigh and toe-pads that are so small and indistinct that they are virtually absent.
Click on a picture or species name for profiles
of each of the 9 species of treefrogs found in Maryland.
|Barking Treefrog||Hyla gratiosa||Endangered|
|Gray Treefrog||Hyla versicolor
|Cope’s Gray Treefrog||Hyla chrysoscelis|
|Green Treefrog||Hyla cinerea|
|Mountain Chorus Frog||Pseudacris brachyphona||Endangered|
|New Jersey Chorus Frog||Pseudacris kalmi|
|Northern Spring Peeper||Pseudacris crucifer|
|Upland Chorus Frog||Pseudacris feriarum|
|Eastern Cricket Frog||Acris crepitans crepitans|
- Discover Maryland's Herps
- Maryland Herp History
- Maryland Herp Checklist
- Survey Techniques, Collecting Ethics, Safety and the Law
- Problems with Buying Frogs and Tadpoles for Wild Release
- Technical Guide: A Key to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Maryland - 86.3 MB pdf file
- Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) Project
- Natural Heritage Program
- Wildlife & Heritage Home
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The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.