Southern Cricket Frog
Description: This small frog has warty skin and reaches lengths a little over an inch in length. Their body is generally brown or tan with a pale underside. The center of their back is decorated with a distinguishable ‘Y’ that starts at the base of the eyes and connects just behind the head. The pattern can brown, green, or reddish in color and will match the color between the eyes and then snout. A dark, backwards-pointing triangle is always present between the eyes to the base of the head. The toes are partially webbed and these frogs have a smooth dark strip that runs lengthwise on the back of the thigh.
Natural History: The Southern Chorus Frog inhabits just about anything wet on the forest floor. They are found in shallow marshes, Carolina Bays, on the edges of ponds, lakes, rivers, and creeks. They are active almost year round and can be heard calling day or night. Dense choruses most often form at night following a rainy or humid day. Their predominate diet is made up of small invertebrates, while they themselves are consumed by reptiles, birds, mammals, large invertebrates, fish and other amphibians. Their abundance in many habitats suggests they play a key role in the food chain.
Similar Species: The dark triangle on the back of the head and ‘Y’ pattern on the back can help distinguish this frog from most other species found in South Carolina. However the Eastern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) does share these characteristics. Eastern Cricket Frogs have a blunter snout, more webbing on the hind feet, and a jagged dark stripe on the back of the thigh – compared to the smooth stripe of the Southern Cricket Frog.
Distribution: This frog ranges from the coastal plains in Southern Virginia, through peninsular Florida and then west to the Mississippi river. It is rare in the piedmont regions of South Carolina and absent from higher elevations.
Contributed by Jake Zadik (7/17/21)
Southern Cricket Frog Vocalizations:
Click here to view South Carolina county records of this species on Herpmapper.org