Spring Peeper

Scientific name: Pseudacris crucifer

These tiny frogs inhabit a great deal of the eastern U.S. and Canada, including northern Florida. Their distinct peeping call can be heard, often in a shrill chorus, because they gather in large groups during the breeding season.

Appearance

Very small, they are often less than an inch, and rarely more than 1.5 inches long. Color is usually tan or brown, to olive or gray, with a distinct (but sometimes imperfect) X mark across their backs. They usually have slightly bumpy skin and additional striping or freckling as camouflaging. Only males have a dark throat and make the peeping sound.

Behavior

Spring peepers prefer forests in and around semi-permanent swamps and wetlands. During the breeding season they aggregate in large groups around pools and ponds, and their chirps rise in volume when competition is high. They overwinter under bark or in logs, and in their northern ranges, they often withstand freezing temperatures.

Sound

Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper Chorus Mating Call

Food

Insectivores. They eat mainly ants, beetles, flies and other small insects.

Habitat & Range

  • Mainly the eastern United States and Canada (and some small remote populations farther west)
  • Florida: Most of northern Florida. Native.
  • They are arboreal, which means they climb and live up in vegetation, but they also can be found around heavy leaf mulch.

Notable

Spring peepers can tolerate cold temperatures, and can survive freezing of their body fluids as low as 18 F. Only males have a dark throat and make the peeping sound, but because of their volume, can be hard to locate.

More info


Learn more about the Herpetology Collection at the Florida Museum.

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