Cope's Gray Treefrog Hyla chrysoscelis (Cope, 1880)  
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Amphibia   >   Order Anura   >   Family Hylidae   >   Genus Hyla   

Status:

Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) is one of two species of 'gray treefrogs' that are identical in external appearance, the other being Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor). 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; Virginia Herpetological Society site). 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.

Description:

Only safely differentiated from Gray Treefrog (H. versicolor) 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 165 records in the project database.

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Chorus on Aberdeen Proving Ground (6/23/2010). - Bill Hubick.

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Cope's Gray Treefrog in Worcester Co., Maryland (7/15/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Worcester Co., Maryland (7/22/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog on Assateague Island in Worcester Co., Maryland (11/10/2018). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Kent Co., Maryland (5/2/2014). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog on Assateague Island in Worcester Co., Maryland (10/20/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

Cope's Gray Treefrogs found in Worcester Co., Maryland (6/14/2009). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Talbot Co., Maryland (3/31/2012). Photo by Danny Poet. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Worcester Co., Maryland (9/27/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Worcester Co., Maryland (9/20/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A presumed (by range) Cope's Gray Treefrog at Andelot Farm, Kent Co., Maryland (6/7/2014). Photo by Matt Tillett. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Worcester Co., Maryland (8/28/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

Cope's Gray Treefrog in Worcester Co., Maryland (8/29/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Kent Co., Maryland (7/20/2015). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (6/28/2016). Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Talbot Co., Maryland (9/2/2016). Photo by Erica Weick. (MBP list)

A Cope's Gray Treefrog in Harford Co., Maryland (7/5/2017). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

Cope's Gray Treefrogs mating in Harford Co., Maryland (7/23/2017). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)


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