Brimley's Chorus Frog
© 2009 Stephen Bennett (1 of 13)
Pseudacris brimleyi Brandt and Walker, 1933
Joseph C. Mitchell1
1. Historical versus Current Distribution. The historical range of Brimley's chorus frogs (Pseudacris brimleyi) is unknown. Their current distribution is in the Atlantic Coastal Plain from northeastern Georgia to southern Caroline County, Virginia (Hoffman, 1983; Mitchell and Reay, 1999).
2. Historical versus Current Abundance. There are no estimates of population size or densities. Brimley's chorus frogs may be locally abundant.
3. Life History Features. The life history and ecology of Brimley's chorus frogs were summarized by Wright and Wright (1949) and Gosner and Black (1958b).
A. Breeding. Reproduction is aquatic.
i. Breeding migrations. Brimley's chorus frogs apparently do not migrate. Initiation of the calling period depends on temperature but usually begins in February or March. Males call from perches on or beneath vegetation and usually partially submerged in water. Extreme dates of calling are 7 March–22 April in Virginia (Mitchell, 1986) and 19 February–17 April in North Carolina (Brandt and Walker, 1933). Brandt (1936a) heard calls in November. Mitchell (1986) noted egg laying from 10 March–22 April in Virginia.
ii. Breeding habitat. This species breeds in shallow flooded fields, red maple (Acer rubrum) swamps, ditches, floodplain pools, woodland pools with sphagnum, ditches or pools in logged areas, and shrub thickets (Gosner and Black, 1958b; Mitchell, 1986; personal observations).
i. Egg deposition sites. Eggs are laid in small gelatinous masses attached to vegetation, usually grass stems, in shallow water.
ii. Clutch size. Maximum known clutch size is 300 (Gosner and Black, 1958b).
C. Larvae/Metamorphosis. The larval period is short, lasting about 30–35 d and as long as 60 d (Gosner and Black, 1958b). Mitchell (1986) reported finding newly metamorphosed animals from 12 May–17 April. Size at metamorphosis is 8.6–11.0 mm (Gosner and Black, 1958b).
D. Juvenile Habitat. Apparently similar to that of adults.
E. Adult Habitat. Adults have been found well away from water in mixed pine and hardwood forests, pine forests, secondary dune scrub forest, forested wetlands dominated by red maple, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), and cultivated fields (Gosner and Black, 1958b; Buhlmann et al., 1994; personal observations).
F. Home Range Size. Unknown.
G. Territories. Unknown.
H. Aestivation/Avoiding Dessication. Unknown.
I. Seasonal Migrations. Brimley's chorus frogs apparently do not migrate.
J. Torpor (Hibernation). Overwintering sites are apparently underground. Brandt (1936a) noted that this frog appears to remain active throughout the winter except during freezing weather conditions.
K. Interspecific Associations/Exclusions. Brimley's chorus frogs are sympatric with American toads (Bufo americanus), upland chorus frogs (Pseudacris feriarum), spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), southern chorus frogs (Pseudacris nigrita), and southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala).
Mecham (1965) obtained experimental hybrids between Brimley's chorus frog and mountain (P. brachyphona), ornate (P. ornata), southern, and upland chorus frogs.
L. Age/Size at Reproductive Maturity. Brandt and Walker (1933) noted that the smallest male measured 24 mm and the smallest female was 27 mm. Age at first reproduction is unknown.
M. Longevity. Unknown.
N. Feeding Behavior. The diet of this frog has not been studied, but Brandt (1936b) noted that specimens he examined contained insects, spiders, and debris.
O. Predators. Brown (E.E., 1979) reported a Brimley's chorus frog in an eastern ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus) from North Carolina.
P. Anti-Predator Mechanisms. Unknown.
Q. Diseases. Unknown.
R. Parasites. Brandt (1936b) found ten species of protozoans (mostly opalinids), two species of trematodes, seven nematodes, and one acanthocephalan in 55 individuals from North Carolina.
4. Conservation. Brimley's chorus frogs are not listed in any state in which they occur, but regulations in Virginia do not allow commercialization (Levell, 1997).