Thursday, July 28, 2011

My First Gray Treefrog

I have a new herp to add to the list of ones I've seen here. Yesterday was watering day, and when I went out there after dark to turn off the soaker hose, I saw this cute little guy sitting on the coiled hose. I only managed to get one good picture of him since it was dark out there and I had to use the flash.

This is Hyla versicolor, the gray treefrog. I'm pretty sure that's what it is anyway. The interesting thing about these guys is that they're tetraploid, which is common in plants but much less common in animals. He has four sets of chromosomes instead of two.

It turns out I hear these guys all the time, but I've never seen one. Here's a YouTube video of one singing so you know what I've been hearing.

Speaking of treefrogs, there also used to be a green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) that lived in my future in-law's garden. I didn't know what they sounded like until I started looking up treefrog calls, but now I know they were the funny noises I heard one night coming from the San Marcos River.

For some reason I find their calls really funny sounding. "bep... bep... bep... bep..."

So yeah, we've got at least two treefrog species here, to add to my list of anurans along with the Gulf Coast Toads, Cliff Chirping Frogs, Leopard Frogs, and Cricket Frogs. I hope they're signs of a healthy ecosystem.

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