Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris cadaverina)
The Pacific Tree Frog has been adapting for over 50 million years. That is right after dinosaurs roamed the earth. Sea levels rose between Central America and North America leaving the red-eyed tree frog amongst others, cut off in central and South America from the Pacific tree frog in North America. The two frogs that were once one species evolved separately and this accounts for the unique variations of the Pacific Tree Frog (1).
What sounds do frogs make? Thats right, ribbit. Actually, the pacific Tree Frog is the frog that comes the closest to making a ribbit mating call. These are small (about 5cm) frogs that color morph to match the seasons. Having one of the more dramatic color transformations, Pacific Tree Frogs can change colors from red, black, cream, gray and the usual green and browns. The frogs can also change their markings from solid to patterned and vice versa. The species also has s stripe of black running across the bridge of their nose across their eyes and down to their tympanum. It looks like they are hiding their face as well in a type of Zorro mask.
Males have a dark throat patch where their vocal sac lies. The frogs have smooth textured skin with bumps along their backs. Their feet are only slightly webbed and like most tree frogs, their toes have sticky pads with discs (1).
Pacific Tree Frogs are mostly typical in their usual and breeding behavior. They are nocturnal and descend to the water to breed. They call their ribbits in chorus for a mate. The female tree frog lays only approximately ten to ninety eggs. They take one to three weeks to hatch and mature very quickly, usually in time for the next breeding season (3).
Pacific tree frogs have adapted to colder climates than most other frogs. They have a range from sea level to ten thousand feet (1). There variable living habitat may be one reason for the striking variations in their color morphing abilities.
California Tree Frog (Pseudacris cadaverina)
Although the California Tree Frog is a subspecies of the Pacific Tree Frog, they can appear to be very different types of frogs due to the wide color variations. The California Tree Frog blends very well with rocks and can camouflage into granite very well (1).
Sierran Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudocris sierra)
Another subspecies of the pacific Tree Frog is more likely to exhibit reddish colorings. This tree frog is typically found in Nevada, Idaho, and parts of Montana. In spite of its name and toe pads, the frog spends most of its time in lower lying scrub and wetlands (1).
Fun Frog Fact:
A: Being one of the most populous frogs in California, the frogs calls are background symphonies to numerous nighttime scenes shot in Hollywood movies.