Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog Hyla versicolor/chrysoscelis    Synonyms: Gray Tree Frog Complex, Hyla versicolor complex.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Amphibia   >   Order Anura   >   Family Hylidae   >   Genus Hyla   

Status:

Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) and Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) are identical in external appearance. Cope's Gray Treefrog is much more common than Gray Treefrog on the coastal plain, while Gray predominates to the west. Despite their extreme similarity, there is no interbreeding between the two species. H. chrysoscelis is diploid, and has a total of 24 chromosomes. H. versicolor is tetraploid, with 48 total chromosomes. Aside from the genetic differences, the vocalizations differ as well, and are the only way to differentiate the two species in the field. H. versicolor gives a slower, lower-pitched musical trill, while the call of H. chrysoscelis is faster and harsher (Conant & Collins, 1998). Both species call somewhat slower in colder conditions. H. chrysoscelis essentially replaces H. versicolor on the coastal plain. That said, recent MARA data proves that line is not as clear cut, and there appears to be some overlap. We do not have any documentation for H. versicolor on the Lower Eastern Shore (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester).

Description:

Only safely differentiated in the field by voice, as both species of gray treefrogs are visually identical. They are grayish or greenish, mottled treefrogs, with variegated, lichen-like patterning, and large toe pads. There is a yellow wash on the inner surface of the hind leg. Typically, there is a pale spot below the eye.

There are 1,631 records in the project database.

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A Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Carroll Co., Maryland (7/12/2019). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Montgomery Co., Maryland (Date obscured). (c) Romain Clément, all rights reserved. Photo by romainclem via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Carroll Co., Maryland (6/18/2020). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

A Gray Treefrog species in Cecil Co., Maryland (9/20/2017). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Howard Co., Maryland (5/31/2021). (c) petunia, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by petunia via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Howard Co., Maryland (8/11/2017). (c) Timothy Reichard, all rights reserved. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Montgomery Co., Maryland (4/27/2021). (c) Matt Cohen and Elizabeth Hargrave, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Matt Cohen and Elizabeth Hargrave via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Carroll Co., Maryland (6/25/2021). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

A Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/27/2018). Photo by Bob Cammarata. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/30/2020). (c) Frode Jacobsen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (5/28/2019). (c) Timothy Reichard, all rights reserved. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/18/2015). (c) Frode Jacobsen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Howard Co., Maryland (8/11/2017). (c) Timothy Reichard, all rights reserved. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (8/7/2019). (c) Timothy Reichard, all rights reserved. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Montgomery Co., Maryland (8/24/2021). (c) belby, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Bonnie Bell. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Montgomery Co., Maryland (8/28/2017). (c) Paul G., some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Paul G. via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Prince George's Co., Maryland (9/8/2020). (c) thefloorisflava, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by thefloorisflava via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrogs mating in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/5/2015). (c) Timothy Reichard, all rights reserved. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Frederick Co., Maryland (8/15/2019). No rights reserved. Photo by Andy Wilson via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Howard Co., Maryland (9/2/2018). Photo by Emily Carter Mitchell. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/30/2005). Photo by Janice Browne. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Carroll Co., Maryland (6/26/2021). (c) Emilio Concari, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Emilio Concari. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Howard Co., Maryland (5/12/2018). (c) Jim, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Jim via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (7/6/2021). (c) staceych, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by staceych via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog in Frederick Co., Maryland (8/25/2019). (c) djweyer, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by djweyer via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Gray/Cope's Gray Treefrog larva in Montgomery Co., Maryland (6/16/2018). (c) Katja Schulz, some rights reserved (CC BY). Photo by Katja Schulz via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

A Gray/Cope's Treefrog in Montgomery Co., Maryland (6/24/2018). Photo by Jim Moore. (MBP list)


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