Green Treefrog
Hyla cinerea

Common Name:

Green Treefrog

Scientific Name:

Hyla cinerea



Hyla is Greek and means "belonging to the woods".


cinerea is Latin for "ash-colored", Referring to color of a preserved specimen.

Average Length:

1.3 - 2.3 in. (3.2 - 5.7 cm

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

2.5 (6.4 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This is a large but slender hylid species with lengths ranging from 32-64 mm (1.25-2.5 in) *1014* *11407*. It has long legs and smooth skin *1014*. The dorsum is typically bright green but variations include a nearly yellow color to a slate gray color. There are typically small golden spots on the dorsum. The ventrum is plain white. There is typically a white or yellowish stripe along the side though its length varies and it may even be absent. The male breeding call is described as a nasal, bell-like "queenk" repeated up to 75 times a minute *1014* *11407*.

REPRODUCTION: Breeding typically occurs in May and June *1014*. The male breeding call is described as a nasal, bell-like "queenk" repeated up to 75 times a minute *1014* *11407*. Calling males form extremely large choruses of 100's or even 1000's of individuals *11407*. Silent males exhibit satellite behavior during which they congregate close to calling males and intercept receptive females moving into the area *11406*. Females lay a clutch of 400-700 eggs amid floating vegetation in ponds and marshes *1014* *11406*. The eggs develop in an average of 2 days; feeding larvae develop in 35-60 days *11407* *11406*. Newly transformed froglets are 12-17 mm long *1014*. Most females breed once per season, some breed twice *11406*. Age at first reproduction is typically less than or about 1 year *11406*.

BEHAVIOR: This species is typically found in swamps and along the edges of lakes and streams *1014* *11407*. They prefer floating or emergent vegetation *1014*. During daylight, this species is well camouflaged while resting motionlessly on plants including cattail reeds *1014*. At night, they are more active and can be found on or near houses. They are attracted to the insects that gather near the lights surrounding our houses *1014* *11407*. Large congresses of calling males gather during breeding *11407*. Non-calling males exhibit satellite behavior in which they gather close to calling males and intercept receptive females moving into the breeding pond *11406*. Prey is detected visually using a sit and wait strategy. Most prey captures occur following visual detection and a short pursuit *11406*. This species is an opportunistic feeder, preying upon caterpillars, beetles, and other arthropods *11284*.

ORIGIN: Native

LIMITING FACTORS: This species requires habitats well-supplied with water or dampness and abundant shrubs *11284* *11407*. POPULATION PARAMETERS: One study found the survival rate of young adult females to be 44% *11406*.

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: This species is found along the edges of lakes, ponds, streams and marshes. It prefers floating or emergent vegetation *1014* *11407*. They occasionally will enter brackish water *11407*. OTHER:

References for Life History

  • 1014 - Martof, B.S., Palmer, W.M., Bailey, J.R., Harrison, III J.R., 1980, Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 264 pgs., UNC Press, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 11284 - Wilson, L.A., 1995, Land manager's guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the South, 360 pp. pgs., The Nature Conservancy, Southeastern Region, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 11406 - Duellman, William E. and, Trueb, Linda, 1986, Biology of Amphibians, 671 pgs., The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
  • 11407 - Conant, Roger and, Collins, John T., 1998, Peterson Field Guide: Reptiles and Amphibians, Eastern/Central North America, 616 pgs., Houghton Mifflin Company;, Boston


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