Pacific Treefrog Pocket Journal

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Model: PJ-79
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Pacific Tree Frog (Hyla regilla)

The Pacific tree frog is one of the smallest but loudest amphibians in the northwest U.S. Is it an adaptable species which lives in coastal rainforests as well as in ponds near forest edges. Pacific tree frogs range from southern British Columbia south to California and east to Montana and Nevada. Though common it is secretive and not easily seen. This tiny frog can be identified by its sticky toe pads, black stripes through each eye, a V or Y shaped mark between its eyes, a light-colored belly and dark spots on its back and legs. Its color varies from bronze-brown to a light lime green, and individuals can change color from green to brown tones in minutes. Color-changing is related to temperature and moisture conditions, not background color as with many other amphibians.

Males frogs are smaller than the females and have a darker throat patch. Males are territorial and use their two-toned mating call to proclaim their territory; this call, which can be heard up to a mile away, serves to attract the female. Females lay eggs in temporary ponds in March-May.

Tadpoles eat primarily plant material, and they in turn are preyed upon by many creatures including bullfrog tadpoles, salamander larvae and water bugs. If it has succeeded in surviving its first year it metamorphoses into an insect-eating frog which can be eaten by the likes of herons, raccoons and bullfrogs.

Amphibians as a group are sensitive to environmental changes in water quality and are therefore considered biological indicators of environmental health. Populations of amphibians are declining world-wide, even in remote areas.

artwork by Christi Sobel

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