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Canadian Herpetological Society





Société d'herpétologie du Canada



Pseudacris maculata
Boreal Chorus Frog / Rainette faux-grillon Boréale


Boreal Chorus Frog

Description
The Boreal Chorus Frog is a small, smooth skinned treefrog. Colour varies from green-gray to brown. There is a dark stripe through the eye and a white stripe along the upper lip. It is distinguished from most other treefrogs by the three dark stripes down the back. In some individuals the stripes are broken into dashes or dots. Maximum adult size is just under 4 cm.

Call
The breeding call is very similar to the Western Chorus Frog, but is longer and slower in pulse rate. It resembles the sound of drawing your finger down the teeth of a comb.

Confusing Species
The Boreal Chorus Frog is almost identical to the Western Chorus Frog. It has shorter hind legs but is best distinguished by its call or location as in Canada their distributions do not overlap. The confusing thing is that the Western Chorus Frog is found in eastern Canada.

Distribution
The Boreal Chorus Frog is distributed from southern James Bay in Quebec through northwestern Ontario, most of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and up into the Northwest Territories along the Mackenzie Valley as far as Great Bear Lake. It is also found in the central United States and overlaps with the Western Chorus Frog through part of its range.

Habitat
The preferred habitat for the Boreal Chorus Frog is forest openings around woodland ponds although in the far north it is found on the tundra. They will breed in almost any fishless pond with at least 10 cm of water, including splash pools, roadside ditches, flooded fields, beaver ponds, marshes, swamps or shallow lakes.

Reproduction
Boreal Chorus Frogs breed very early in the spring and will call during the day as well as at night. A series of small egg masses are laid and attached to vegetation. Eggs hatch within a few weeks and tadpoles finish transforming by early to mid-summer. They may take one to two years to reach maturity and rarely live beyond three years.

Natural History
Chorus Frogs hibernate beneath logs or underground and are freeze tolerant. They feed on small insects and other invertebrates and are eaten by a wide variety of predators.

Conservation Concerns
There is no evidence of decline in this species.