Pseudacris triseriata
Midland Chorus Frog, Western Chorus Frog
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Hylinae

© 2010 Todd Pierson (1 of 25)

  hear call (5656.6K WAV file)

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Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

Range includes portions of southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States, from Michigan (Lower Peninsula), southern Ontario, and western New York through Indiana, Ohio, and western Pennsylvania to southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and northwestern Tennessee (Lemmon et al. 2007).

Habitat and Ecology

Habitats include damp meadows, marshes, forest edges, bottomland swamps, and temporary ponds, particularly in open country (Minton 2001, Gibbs et al. 2007). Formerly this frog was plentiful in agricultural and suburban situations in Indiana, but this is no longer the case (Minton 2001). Winter is spent underground or under surface cover. Breeding sites include quiet, shallow, usually temporary water with submerged and low emergent vegetation, especially rain-flooded meadows and ditches and temporary ponds in floodplains (Minton 2001, Gibbs et al. 2007).


This species is represented by a large number of sub-populations. Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 100,000. This frog is common in much of its large range.

Over the long term, area of occupancy, number of sub-populations, and population size probably have declined, but the degree of decline is uncertain. Minton (2001) stated that this species was numerous in Indiana in 1945-1970, declined markedly during 1975-1985, and apparently has increased since then. In discussing P. triseriata and P. maculata as a single species, Gibbs et al. (2007) cited declines in New York state during the period 1970-2000. Moriarty and Lannoo (in Lannoo 2005) also cited declines in the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada.

Area of occupancy, number of sub-populations, and population size probably are slowly declining, but the rate of decline is unknown.

Population Trend


Major Threats

These frogs are tolerant of some forms of habitat alteration (e.g. clearing of forest), but loss of wetlands, and unknown factors (possibly including agricultural chemicals, drought, and chytrid fungus) have caused declines in some areas (Gibbs et al. 2007). Forest expansion by re-forestation of abandoned agricultural lands my also pose a threat, as secondary succession in some areas has rendered breeding habitat inappropriate (Shelley et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Many occurrences are in protected areas. 

Research Needed
In view of reported declines and taxonomic changes affecting the scope of the species, determination of current taxonomic and population status is appropriate.

Red List Status

Least Concern (LC)


Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of some forms of habitat alteration and presumed large population size, despite potential population declines.

Taxonomic Notes

A molecular phylogeny of Pseudacris based on mtDNA data (Moriarty and Cannatella 2004) revealed four strongly supported clades within Pseudacris: (1) A West Coast Clade containing regilla and cadaverina, (2) a Fat Frog Clade including ornata, streckeri, and illinoensis, (3) a Crucifer Clade consisting of crucifer and ocularis, and (4) a Trilling Frog Clade containing all other Pseudacris. Within the Trilling Frog Clade, brimleyi and brachyphona form the sister group to the Nigrita Clade: nigrita, feriarum, triseriata, kalmi, clarkii, and maculata. The Nigrita Clade shows geographic division into three clades: (1) populations of maculata and triseriata west of the Mississippi River and Canadian populations, (2) southeastern United States populations of feriarum and nigrita, and (3) northeastern United States populations of feriarum, kalmi, and triseriata. Moriarty and Cannatella (2004) found that subspecific epithets for crucifer (crucifer and bartramiana) and nigrita (nigrita and verrucosa) are uninformative, and they therefore discouraged recognition of these subspecies. They concluded that further study is needed to determine if illinoensis warrants status as a distinct species. Molecular data were consistent with retention of regilla, cadaverina, ocularis, and crucifer in the genus Pseudacris.

Using mtDNA samples from a large number of localities throughout North America, Lemmon et al. (2007) elucidated the phylogenetic relationships and established the geographic ranges of the trilling chorus frogs (Pseudacris). They redefined the ranges of several taxa, including P. maculata, P. triseriata, and P. feriarum; found strong evidence for recognizing P. kalmi as a distinct species; and discovered a previously undetected species in the south-central United States (now known as Pseudacris fouquettei). Based on mtDNA data, Pseudacris maculata and P. clarkii did not emerge as distinct, monophyletic lineages but, given the degree of morphological and behavioural divergence between the taxa, Lemmon et al. (2007) chose to recognize them as separate species, until further data suggest otherwise.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Pseudacris triseriata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T55899A78907820. .Downloaded on 19 February 2019


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