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This site was created by students in the herpetology class at Towson University.  Site last updated: 05/21/07.

Acknowledgements: Herb Harris - Range Maps;  Mark Tegges - Photography; Dan Lapascha & Gigi Forester - TU Herpetology Logo

Gray Treefrog Complex

(Hyla versicolor/chrysoscelis)



It is impossible to visually distinguish between Hyla versicolor/Hyla chrysoscelis in the fieldThe only way to differentiate between the two species is by listening to the call. Hyla versicolor has a more melodious call than the diploid species, Hyla chrysoscelis.   Color is very variable, but they are typically gray or green with black splotches.  Their average size is 3.2-5.1 cm, and the largest recorded is 6.0 cm.  Hyla versicolor occurs in western Maryland, while Hyla chrysoscelis is found in southern Maryland.  They are syntopic in central Maryland.


Their habitat consists of forester areas near permanent bodies of water, which are necessary for breeding.   Gray tree frogs are not normally found close to the water except during the breeding season.  During the summer gray tree frogs can be found in moist areas such as hollow trees or rotting logs.  They typically over-winter under tree roots and leaves.  Gray tree frogs are nocturnal, and they forage in trees and small bushes for small invertebrates.


They are extended breeders, with the breeding season lasting from April through June in Maryland. 

Distribution in Maryland


            H. chrysoscelis                                                H. versicolor

Range maps adapted from Harris, 1975.