Gray Treefrog Hyla versicolor (LeConte, 1825)  
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Amphibia   >   Order Anura   >   Family Hylidae   >   Genus Hyla   


Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) is one of two species of 'gray treefrogs' that are identical in external appearance, the other being Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis). Gray Treefrog is much more common than Cope's Gray Treefrog as one moves west of the coastal plain. Despite their extreme similarity, there is no interbreeding between the two species. H. versicolor is tetraploid, with 48 total chromosomes. H. chrysoscelis is diploid, and has a total of 24 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; Virginia Herpetological Society site). Both species call somewhat slower in colder conditions. H. versicolor is more common away from the coastal plain (Maryland DNR site).


Only safely differentiated from Cope's Gray Treefrog 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 140 records in the project database.

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A Gray Treefrog in Harford Co., Maryland (8/16/2015). Photo by Bob Cammarata. (MBP list)

A Gray Treefrog in Howard Co., Maryland (8/24/2015). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

A Gray Treefrog in Baltimore Co., Maryland (9/20/2011). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Gray Treefrog in Frederick Co., Maryland (8/21/2016). Photo by Andy Wilson. (MBP list)

A Gray Treefrog in Frederick Co., Maryland (8/29/2016). Photo by Andy Wilson. (MBP list)

A Gray Treefrog in Sauk Co., Wisconsin (5/2010). Photo by Corey Raimond. (MBP list)

Gray Treefrog eggs in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/22/2018). Photo by Keith Eric Costley. (MBP list)

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