A Harmony of Frogs

By staff February 1, 2004

Squirrel treefrogs are found throughout Florida and the American Southeast. Often mistaken for green treefrogs, they are smaller and lack the green's vivid white side-stripe.

During summer months they congregate by the thousands and breed in freshwater marshes and seasonal ponds. Males serenade prospective mates with a startlingly loud "Kwonk!" that female squirrel treefrogs find simply irresistible.

But it's another of the little frog's vocalizations that shows the full range of its talents. On warm, rainy nights, squirrel treefrogs emit a "rain call" that mimics the noisy chatter of an excited gray squirrel. Whether or not the treefrogs derive any benefit from this odd talent is debatable, but when an otherwise peaceful meadow erupts in an ear-splitting cacophony of squirrel treefrog chatter the effect is, well, ribbetting.

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