Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Peepers

Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) started calling today in Duluth.  Although spring peepers have a loud voice, these frogs are pretty small at full size.  
adult spring peeper in hand for size reference

adult spring peeper in wetland
 spring peeper - identifying marks: X on back, toe pads, small size, light color
These frogs are great at hiding - I rarely spot them in wetlands, but there are a lot of videos up on UTube.
 It is exciting to hear a full chorus of spring peepers - I haven't heard this large a group calling in the city since I first moved to Duluth. About 10 years ago the spring peeper population seemed to be greatly reduced (based on calling activity), likely due to a cold winter with little snow cover. Spring peeper overwinter in leaf litter or bark, but are not as freeze-tolerant as wood frogs.

I heard spring peepers in northern Wisconsin as well, but today was my first visit to that area.

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