Pine Woods Treefrog
Description: Like other members of the same genus, this small and slender treefrog is equipped with large toe pads and long limbs. They are generally brown, tan, reddish or green in coloration with a pale underside. They may have faint mottling on their back or will be uniform in color. There may be some yellow washing on the inside of their limbs and toes, but always have well defined yellow or orange spots on the inside of their hind legs – this trait is only visible when the leg is extended, but is necessary in confidently identifying this frog.
Natural History: These frogs can be found in almost any fishless wetland in the Coastal Plains. They have a preference for wetlands in open pine forest habitats such as Carolina Bays or flooded grasslands. Despite their abundance, this frog can be challenging to locate. It is easiest to find them by following the instrumental choruses of these frogs. Their call sounds similar to someone playing a güiro (a ribbed wooden instrument). Breeding occurs from spring to early fall.
Similar Species: Many frogs in this genus can easily be mistaken for one another. The Pine Woods Treefrog looks most similar to the Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella), but can be distinguished when in the hand by looking at the defined yellow spots on the interior of the hind leg. The only other treefrogs with this spotting on the interior of the thighs are the Copes Grey Treefrog – which is larger, rougher skinned, and generally gray in color- and the Pine Barrens Treefrog — which has a dark face stripe extending down the sides of the body.
Distribution: This frog occurs in the coastal plains from east of the Mississippi, down through peninsular Florida, and up the east coast to Virginia.
Contributed by Jake Zadik (7/8/21)
Pine Woods Treefrog Vocalizations:
Click here to view South Carolina county records of this species on Herpmapper.org