Pseudacris crucifer is a small species of frog, ranging from .75 of an inch to 1.25 inches in total length. A characteristic 'X' mark can usually be seen on the back of the frog. While P. crucifer displays no distinct color patterns on its surface, its observed color may be yellow, brown, gray or olive. This species may be distinguished from other members of the genus by its lack in distinct stripes, mottling, spotting, and the characteristic 'X' mark. P. c. bartramiana. and P. c. crucifer are subspecies
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Canada, United States. Introduced: Cuba.
U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia
Canadian province distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec
Geographically, this species may be found from the Canadian Maritime Provinces to northern Florida, and from southeast Manitoba all the way to eastern Texas. One isolated (but natural) population exists in Kansas and an introduced population exists into Cuba. P. crucifer tends to be found in large numbers near ponds or swamps in brushy growth or cutover woodlands. Small, temporary or semipermanent lentic environments are ideal water sources for P. crucifer. Standing trees or shrubs provide a popular habitat for the choral groups to form.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The breeding season is the best time to see and hear P. crucifer in the wild. Occasionally, individuals may be seen during the day in damp or rainy weather. The call of this species resembles that of sleigh bells when heard from a distance. A terminal upward slur characterizes the high, single, clear whistle that is repeated at intervals of approximately 1 second. In the background of small choruses, a trilling peep may be uttered by some individuals.
There are two described subspecies, the Northern Spring Peeper and the Southern Spring Peeper. The Northern subspecies has a virtually plain stomach while the southern one has prominent dark spots on the belly. This species account was based on the account written by Conart and Collins, 1991.
Conant, R. and Collins, J. T. (1991). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.
Written by Kevin Gin (kevgin AT uclink.berkeley.edu), UCB-Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program
First submitted 2001-05-09
Edited by Vance Vredenburg, Kevin Gin (2008-01-08)
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