Description: This medium sized treefrog is highly variable in coloration. Dorsally it can be green, gray, tan, brown, or any combination of these colors with faint blotches on its back. The underside is pale and occasionally yellow-orange flash colors may be present on the inside of the limbs. Some individuals have a whiteish or yellowish upper lip that continues to a faded line along the sides of the body. Like other treefrogs in the genus Hyla, Squirrel Treefrogs have large toe pads and elongated limbs.
Natural History: This frog is a habitat generalist and can be found in or near almost any wetland throughout its range, including slightly saline wetlands on barrier islands. They are also one of the most common frogs to find around homes and buildings.
Squirrel Treefrogs are most active during spring and summer when they breed. Large choruses generally erupt at night, but can also occur during the day following a rainfall. When they are not active, they will often tuck themselves behind bark or rest on broadleaf plants such as cattails.
Similar Species: Due to its variability, the Squirrel Treefrog can be confused many species of treefrogs, but most commonly it is confused with the Green Treefrog and the Pinewoods Treefrog. The Green Treefrog is typically larger, can have yellow spots on its dorsum, and has a bold white stripe down its side with green on either side of the stripe. The Pinewoods Treefrog has yellow or white spotting on the inside of the rear legs, but this characteristic might not be observed unless the frog is in the hand.
Distribution: This frog ranges from southern Virginia, throughout penninsular Florida, and then west to Eastern Texas. In South Carolina this frog is found from the coast to the piedmont.
Contributed by Jake Zadik (7/28/21)
Squirrel Treefrog Vocalizations:
Click here to view South Carolina county records of this species on Herpmapper.org