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Canadian Herpetological Society





Société d'herpétologie du Canada



Acris blanchardi
Blanchard's Cricket Frog / Rainette Grillon de Blanchard


Blanchard's Cricket Frog

Description
This rough-skinned treefrog may be greenish-brown, yellow, red or black. It is distinguished by a dark triangle between the eyes and relatively short legs. Maximum adult size is a mere 4 cm.

Call
The breeding call is a rasping, or clicking, like pebbles striking each other.

Confusing Species
Other treefrogs within its range are the Spring Peeper, the Western Chorus Frog and the Gray Treefrog. The Spring Peeper is distinguished by a dark X on the back. The Western Chorus Frog has three dark continuous or broken lines down the back. The Grey Treefrog has a light spot with a dark border under each eye and bright orange/yellow inner thighs.

Distribution
The Canadian distribution of Blanchard's Cricket Frog is now limited to Pelee Island. It has not been heard on the mainland since 1972 and was last reported from Pelee Island in 1987. It is more widely distributed in the central United States as far as southern Texas.

Habitat
In the past, Blanchard's Cricket Frogs have been found in natural marshes, deep drainage ditches and abandoned quarries. In Canada it is limited to the warmest parts of the Carolinian Zone.

Reproduction
Breeding does not begin until mid-summer. Individual females lay up to 400 eggs which hatch in three to four days. Metamorphosis takes place five to ten weeks later.

Natural History
They eat small insects. Individuals rarely live more than one or two years.

Conservation Concerns
Never widespread in Canada, Blanchard's Cricket Frogs are now considered endangered by both the federal and Ontario governments. The cause of their decline during the 1970's is unknown, however habitat degradation and pesticide contamination are known to be problems within their range.