Every state has something amazing in its ecological system and the tree frog is surely one of them. Even Alabama isn’t a stranger to this. It should be shocking news to you that Alabama is home to 14 types of tree frogs & luckily each of them is listed as the least concerned frog type. Meaning they’re not in any kind of danger of extinction. Good news, right?
Though you don’t see the benefits of these tree frogs in nature directly, they do a lot for the balance of the overall ecosystem by eating up a whole bunch of insects.
If you have a high interest in tree frogs then you came to the perfect place. I am going to take you on a tour describing the 14 amazing tree frogs in Alabama. Stay tuned!
1. Little Grass Frog
The little Grass frog is the tiniest frog among all tree frogs in Alabama. They can grow from 0.4 – 0.6’’ only. Their preferable and common habitat includes roadside ditches, ponds, bogs, swamps, wet Flatwoods, prairies, marshes, and savannas.
In the wild, this little frog can survive around 2-4 years on average. Due to their higher population, they are listed as the least concern. Unlike other tree frogs, this species is a social frog and lives in groups.
Plus, the breeding season of this tiny frog starts in January and ends in September. However, the peak time for mating is March-April. Right after mating is complete, the female lays more than 100 eggs and after nearly 10 weeks, these eggs become froglets.
To communicate with other frogs, the little grass frog generates a high-pitched tinkling sound that feels like the sound of insects. This frog has good jumping ability but they don’t climb on trees.
Speaking of skin color, the little grass frog has a dark shade that can be brown to reddish or some green bleeding on the skin. Finally, they are not nocturnal and can be seen clearly in their habitat during the daytime.
2. Pinewoods Tree Frog
Their preferable territories are swamps, freshwater marshes, temperate forests, cypress ponds, lakes, etc. The size of the Pinewoods tree frog of Alabama can vary from 0.98-1.5’’. Their outer looks have a lot of similarities with the Squirrel tree frog.
Plus, the color can be grayish-green, brownish-gray, gray, and deep reddish-brown. The dark markings or spots on their back is clearly visible. Though it spends a larger amount of time on trees often comes to the ground.
When the winter season arrives, they love to hide under logs and holes in trees. They do the same for extremely dry weather. The presence of Pinewood tree frogs is not only in Alabama, they are found in Florida, Louisiana, and Virginia.
Their position in the ecosystem makes them the perfect food for water snakes and rat snakes in their natural habitat.
Moreover, the mating time of this species is from March-October. The Male begins to call the female from the trees and bushes close to the water and as soon as the female reaches the spot they start mating. The mommy frog lays around 100 eggs right below surface water and after around 3 months lots of froglets spread out in the habitat.
Their calling sound is a machine-like call is a unique sound compared to other Hylidae members. Lastly, the diet of a Pinewood tree frog includes grasshoppers, crane flies, wasps, ants, flies, beetles, spiders, and other tiny invertebrates.
3. Upland Chorus Frog
Being one of the familiar amphibians in Alabama, this frog can also be found in southeastern areas of the USA. In terms of size, they don’t grow much & remain within 0.7 – 1.5″ in length.
Just by noticing one physical attribute, the male & female can be identified. That is the male upland chorus frogs have a larger vocal sac which is not present in the female body.
Like some other tree frogs, these individuals are particularly attracted to moist habitats. You will find them resting in marshes, shallow water bodies, meadows, and ponds. It’s not unusual to see them moving in woodland & wetland area.
The moment the mating season starts, the male calls the female with a sound that feels like someone running their fingernails on a comb. Generally, the breeding season remains from November- March.
These nocturnal animals are hardly seen in daylight. But they do move a lot at night for the food. Small insects & spiders make up a good portion of their overall diet.
During the mating season, some males interfere with the movement of females toward the calling males. And start mating with the female right on soot.
When it comes to color, these Upland Chorus are available in versatile skin shades like greenish-brown, brown, reddish-brown, and grayish-brown.
4. Southern cricket frog
This species just loves moist area that offers lots of vegetation. In nature, you can see them in versatile colors like brown, black, reddish brown, olive green, and gray. You might also notice the orange or brown color stripe on their back.
Plus, the unique skin design with a triangular mark is visible on their head. All over Alabama, the southern cricket frog is a common species. Similar to other tree frogs, their body length is small & around 0.5-1.25″.
One of the best defense mechanisms the southern cricket frog has is the ability to jump 8 feet high. This mind-boggling ability helps them greatly to save themselves from predators. Also, they can change skin color which makes them the ultimate survivor. Sadly they can’t climb well as they are not gifted with toe pads.
Moreover, the southern cricket frog becomes sexually mature within the first year & some of them live for only one year. In contrast, most of these small animals survive up to 4 months. Their staple foods in the wild are small insects & mosquitoes.
As their breeding season is February- October, so the male attracts the female with their metal clicking calling. The male also uses the same tune to warn another male to go away from their breeding zone. The female species can lay 150 eggs at a single time.
Regarding habitat, their favorite spot is roadside ditches, shallow ponds with dense vegetation, creeks & temporary pools. The skin type of the southern cricket frog is warty.
5. Spring peeper frog
Another tree frog you will see in Alabama is the Spring peeper frog. Available in multiple colors like reddish, brown, and tan these creatures love to stay close to semi-permanent water bodies.
They activate their hunting mood in the evening and keep searching for small insects. However, during the daytime, they hide under different types of trees and shrubs.
When it comes to longevity the spring peeper lives around 3-4 years in their natural habitat. These tiny amphibians can be sized from 0.98-1.5″. They are good climbers and take full advantage of their sticky toe pads.
You don’t have to be a researcher to tell the difference between a male & female spring peeper. The main difference is that females have light skin color while males have darker shades.
Speaking of the breeding time, the spring peeper tends to mate between April to June. After mating, the female lays around 1200 eggs. This egg becomes a froglet within the next two and a half months.
Moreover, these frogs are blessed with hibernation ability. It helps the frog to survive during the ultra-freezing temperature. They spend the entire winter season staying under the bark of trees or tree logs.
Regarding diet, they tend to eat a lot of spiders, beetles, ants, and flies. The calling sound of this species is extremely loud & reaches up to 90 decibels. Their peeping trill can be heard from a far distance
6. Cope’s gray tree frog
Though it’s tough to identify the difference between Cope’s gray tree frog & Gray tree frog from the outside, they do have a lot of things that do not match.
The skin color of a Cope’s gray tree frog can be brown & green, pearl gray, gray-green, etc. As soon as there is any shift in the temperature, this frog can change its color into a dark or light shade.
Plus, their natural habitat includes swamps, prairies, woodland, and flooded fields. The average lifespan of these amphibians in the wild is 2.5 years. However, the maximum was recorded at around 7 years in the wild.
In Alabama, this tree-climbing master is a common one & they are listed as the least concern. As they are arboreal, they like spending long periods on trees and hunting their food high on tree leaves and branches.
Also, their climbing ability helps them to be safe from unwanted predators. The hibernation mood of this species lets them pass the harsh freezy winter without any problems.
When it comes to food, the Cope’s gray frog enjoys moths, snails, ants, spiders, plant lice, etc. Adding to that, the male selects a shallow wetland as a breeding site & calls the female for mating. Mating season starts in March & continues till August. They have a habit to call even without their mating season.
7. Northern cricket frog
This tree frog can have different color shades like green, brown, yellow, gray, and black. It’s common for them to have dark spots on their back. Regarding availability, they are widely found in Alabama.
In terms of size, the northern cricket frog grows highest up to 1.5″. However, these species can leap around 3 feet with a single attempt. It helps them immensely to evade predators most of the time. Along with that, they can swim so well that they become one of the top survivors in the wild.
Much like other Hylidae buddies, they also love to stay in dense vegetation areas. And their favorite habitat is slow streams, marshes, shallow water bodies, and marshes.
In spite of being tree frogs, they rarely like to spend time on trees. Northern cricket frogs enjoy a long list of insects that includes ants, termites, beetles, and flies.
The breeding season of this beautiful amphibian starts in June or July and continues up to August. You will hear them calling in their mating season if you are a native. And the sound is almost like the sound of crickets.
8. Mountain Chorus Frog
Due to their stable population growth, they are listed as the least concerned in Alabama. People of this state will experience their calling from early April to the end of May. The male carefully chooses the breeding sites which can be roadside ditches, slow streams, shallow ponds, plowed fields, etc.
In terms of lifespan, a Mountain chorus survives around 4-5 years in the wild on average. When it comes to their diet, they eat moths, centipedes, larvae, flies, and crickets in the wild.
This species likes to live in shallow wetlands that include marshes & swamps. They can easily make their predator foolish by changing their skin color. Also, hiding in high vegetation areas is their favorite thing to do in the daytime. Apart from the mating season, you will rarely see them.
It’s easy to tell the difference between male & female Mountain Chorus frogs. The female is as usual larger like other species. The size of this critter can vary from 1-1.25″ in length. Not only that, the male has dark color throat compared to the female frog.
Moreover, they are often hunted by raccoons, different snakes, and birds of prey. Mountain chorus has smooth shiny skin that can be found in different colors like white, olive, gray & brown color.
9. Barking tree frog
Barking tree frogs are common in the coastal plain while in other areas they are endangered. They are intelligent survivors in their natural habitat. This amphy buddy can easily deceive their predator by changing the skin hue with the background color.
Along with that, they are top-notch swimmers due to their powerful hind legs. The most common colors of this species are green, gray, and brown. They also have round spots on their back.
Without any doubt, the barking tree frog is one of the largest tree frog in Alabama. They can grow around 2 – 2.8’’ in length. They love to live in pineland & swampy woods which are close to any shallow water bodies.
One of the unique attitudes of this creature is it stays high on trees and also sometimes buries itself under the soil. Due to their climbing ability, they spend a good amount of time on trees. When moisture is high they remain on trees and when the weather turns dry they come to the forest floor.
If you are a native people of Alabama, you definitely heard them calling. Their calling sound feels like a dog bark which they make after a few seconds repeatedly during their breeding season.
As summertime is barking tree frogs’ mating season, the male calls the female into shallow water and after mating the female lays up to 4000 eggs. But a small number of these eggs finally turn into froglets.
10. Green tree frog
The green tree frog is a common frog in most of Alabama. You can easily detect this frog by its dark green color and white stripe that runs through the side of the body. It’s hard to find them roaming around as they keep themselves hiding under shady grass.
In terms of lifespan, they have a good average of 2-5 years in the wild. The size of this frog can vary from 1’’ to 2.5’’ in length. Like most frogs, the mom becomes bigger than the dad.
Local people of Alabama might find them close to their homes or right in the garden or backyard. People who live in the sub-urban area might find them in their bathrooms, drain pipes and water tanks, etc.
Their preferable habitat is marshes, swamps, woodland, close to rivers/ponds, etc. Also, this cutie loves to stay in the darkness in the daytime. This frog’s diet list is pretty wide which consists of lizards, spiders, ants, flies, etc.
Moreover, they reach when they are about 2 years old. They choose shallow water bodies for breeding sites. The male calls the female with a series of abrupt honks repeatedly until the female arrives.
Plus, the breeding time remains from April-September. Green tree frogs love hunting in the nighttime. Due to their position in the ecosystem, they are killed by different types of snakes and birds.
When it comes to finding out the female & male, it’s easy to detect the male due to their vocal pouch under their throat. Also, their skin is smooth & soft. Whenever they feel threatened, they can change the color into darker or lighter shades.
11. Pine Barrens Tree Frog
Along with Alabama, this frog species can be seen in Florida & North Carolina. Their preferred habitat is pine forest and seepage bog pools. In terms of size, they can grow from 1-3’’. And like most frog species, the females are bulkier than the male.
The breeding season of these frogs begins in April and lasts up to September. At this time, the male will call heavily to grab the attention of the female Pine Barren tree frog. Also, the calling sound of this frog is a nasal honk that repeats 10-20 times at a single call with a small interval.
Plus, the color of this tree frog can be seen in emerald green and brown color. They also have noticeable dark stripes on the side of their body. As soon as the breeding season enters, the male sometimes even fight with each other to get the female.
Moreover, this nocturnal animal looks for food at night and hunts small size insects. In daylight, they are rarely seen because they take shelter under leaves or tree logs. The average lifespan of a pine barren treefrog can be 2-5 years in the wild.
Furthermore, they can reach sexual maturity at 11 months. Due to their toe shape, they are not good swimmers. However, they are outstanding climbers and stay a long time high on trees.
12. Bird-voiced Tree Frog
The bird-voiced tree frog is not only native to Alabama, it can be found in Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, and South Carolina. Regarding size, they are relatively small and they can grow from 1- 1.75’’ in length.
Their desirable living places are shallow water bodies that include flooded fields, wooden swamps, and large creeks. Most likely you will hear these tiny creatures calling from these areas in the months of April-August.
Moreover, they have a good lifespan of around 4 years in the wild. Most of their hunting occurs at night, and they do a great job at it. The diet of a bird-voiced tree frog is loaded with small-size invertebrates, insects that live on trees, flies, spiders, and ants.
The presence of this amphibian is quite stable in Alabama and is listed as the least concern. Due to their padded plus webbed toes, they can easily climb on trees. And they spend a long time on trees. But they come down from the tree as soon as the breeding season appears.
Every year during the mating season, the male Bird-voiced frog starts calling frequently to attract the female. You can relate their calling sound to a bird chirping tune. They make a call repeatedly around 20 times.
Regarding skin color, the most common are green, gray, and brown. They have warty skin with some marks or spots on their back. The strongest physical attribute is their bulging eyes.
Also, their population growth is stable in many states because the bird-voiced tree frog can change its skin hue and blend with nature to save itself from predators.
13. Squirrel tree frog
This tiny guy is found in the Coastal plain of Alabama. Although small in size around 1-1.5″ but they are highly skilled when it comes to hunting. The color variation of squirrel tree frogs can range from tan to green, yellowish & brown.
One of the unique skin designs is the yellow or white stripes on the upper lips. Their skin type is smooth & slender. These amazing creatures can be active both day & night.
Luckily, this species has a long breeding period that lasts from March to October. This is the time when the male squirrel tree frog produces a duck-like nasal sound which also feels like a squirrel sound. They repeat the sound after a half second.
However, their preferable natural habitat has to be moist & damp areas like swamps, marshes, and vegetation that are close to the lake or pond. Throughout the breeding period, a female would lay around 1000 eggs which eventually become froglets after 2.5 months.
It’s not unusual for the local people to see them on the highway or backyard. However, right after or during rainfall, you will see a lot of them on highways. Their diet is loaded with spiders, termites, and better, etc.
In terms of lifespan, they get a long life of around 10 years in their natural habitat. This nocturnal animal can be seen in daylight when there’s heavy rain. However, under normal conditions, they like to rest under bark or leaves, etc.
14. Ornate Chorus Frog
This small tree frog can be heard calling in winter and springtime. The skin color might vary from one habitat to another and the common color is dark green, tan, and red to brown shades.
Mostly they like to live in places like pinelands, woodland, etc. However, during the scorching summer, they prefer to hide under vegetation or sand. The stripe marking on their body helps them to save themselves from predators.
The size of this species can fall within the 1-1.5’’ range. Due to their insectivorous nature, the ornate chorus eats small insects like flies, ants, termites, worms, and leaves. Their diet selection keeps the balance of the ecosystem.
Adding to that, this breed hit its sexual maturity around 1 year and is actively part of the breeding process. The male has darker throats during mating season. It produces a raspy longer fast call to bring the female closer to them.
In this short blog post, you explored 14 beautiful tree frogs in Alabama. Without any doubt, this species has a big play in the smooth running of the state’s ecosystem.
If this post has made your understanding of tree frogs deeper, then it’s a win-win situation for both you & me.