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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

The Spring Peeper: Amazing Facts You Won’t Believe

Read these Spring Peeper facts to know more about this frog.

The spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer as it is scientifically called, is a frog that belongs to the Hylidae family. The spring peeper, scientific name Pseudacris crucifer, means false locust because its calls are similar to that of insect calls, and crucifer means cross which is due to the X-shaped lines on the backs. These frogs are generally known as small tree frogs and thus, are generally found on loose bark. The habitat of these frogs includes woodlands near ponds and wetlands and these frogs require swamps, marshes, and ponds to provide an aquatic environment to the eggs and tadpoles. The location of these animals includes southeastern Canada and the eastern United States. The adult peepers tend to prey on small insects like ants, spiders, beetles, and flies while the diet of the tadpoles or young peepers includes micro-organisms and algae. It is tan or brown-grayish in color with X-shaped lines on the back. Spring peeper reproduction happens through breeding and the breeding season takes place from March to June. The spring peeper eggs are laid in debris at the water base. A spring peeper tadpole takes two to three months to transform into a frog. Spring peepers are known for their unique call but the northern spring peepers' and that of a southern one takes place at different times of the year. It is also believed when this peeper calls in chorus or groups, the sound is good to hear. Not only is its call interesting, but there are also many fascinating facts to know about these frogs.

If you enjoy learning about spring peepers, you may also like the spadefoot toad and natterjack toad too.

Spring Peeper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a spring peeper?

Spring peepers are frogs.

What class of animal does a spring peeper belong to?

Spring peepers belong to the Amphibia class of animals.

How many spring peepers are there in the world?

There has been no specific number of spring peepers in the world recorded.

Where does a spring peeper live?

Spring peepers are found in southeastern Canada to the eastern United States. They are also found in south to northern Florida and Minnesota and Texas. They tend to live in moist areas and grassy lowlands near ponds or wetlands.

What is a spring peeper's habitat?

A spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) is found in forests and woodlands near semi-permanent wetlands. The spring peepers require swamps, marshes, or ponds as an aquatic surrounding or environment is required for the eggs and tadpoles.

Who do spring peepers live with?

While some of them tend to live alone, it is not uncommon to see these spring peepers in groups or armies. A group of spring peepers is called an army. These spring peepers produce a beautiful chorus.

How long does a spring peeper live?

The lifespan of spring peepers is known to be short and they live for about three to four years.

How do they reproduce?

In southern areas, the breeding season starts from October to March and in the northern areas, the breeding season takes place from March to June. The female chooses a mate based on the volume and speed of the calls of the males and also on the genetic lineage. The female differentiates on the basis of genetic lineage and prefers males from the same lineage due to the effects of hybridization. An old male spring peeper call is faster and louder and thus, females tend to mate with them. The females lay between 900-1000 eggs and the eggs are hidden under vegetation and debris at the water base. After the eggs hatch, it remains tadpoles for up to two to three months and then transforms into frogs and thus, are ready to leave the water.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these peepers is Least Concern.

Spring Peeper Fun Facts

What do spring peepers look like?

The spring peepers are small tree frogs and have smooth skin with tan, brown, gray, or green colors with lines that form an X-shaped pattern on the backs. The stomachs are cream in color and have dark-colored bands on their legs and dark lines between eyes. These peepers have flat toe pads which help in forming grips on plants while the webbed feet provide support. These peepers are quite camouflaged to look similar to tree barks and these species also have the ability to make themselves lighter or darker to match the surroundings. Sometimes, the throats of these species get inflated and look like a bubble. This bubble is actually the vocal sac.

The X-shaped lines on the back are one of the most identifiable features of the spring peepers.

How cute are they?

While this species is quite different in appearance due to its bubble, these frogs are not considered cute.

How do they communicate?

These species are known to communicate through calls. The spring peeper sound is unique and high-pitched. The single high-pitched note lasts for about a tenth of a second. This note is repeated rapidly. These males produce this call to attract females to mate.

How big is a spring peeper?

A spring peeper is quite small and its length ranges from 1-1.5 in  (25-38 mm) and weight ranges from 0.0066-0.011 lb (0.003-0.005 kg). Some also believe that the size of the spring peeper frog is relative to a paper clip.

How fast can a spring peeper move?

The toe pads help the peeper to climb and thus, they are good climbers however, they still tend to be on land and move at a normal pace.

How much does a spring peeper weigh?

The weight of the spring peeper ranges from 0.0066-0.011 lb (0.003-0.005 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female of this species.

What would you call a baby spring peeper?

Spring peeper tadpoles are what the baby is called.

What do they eat?

The spring peeper diet includes beetles, flies, ants, and spiders. These peepers are nocturnal insectivores. Tadpoles feed on microorganisms and algae. The adult spring peepers prey in the afternoon and early evening while the younger ones prey in the early morning to afternoon.

Are they poisonous?

These peepers are not considered poisonous and do not pose any threat to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

The spring peppers make really good pets. The habitat could be provided with ease and the temperature for these peepers could be easily controlled. They also pose no threats to humans and the spring peeper care and food are easy to provide. The only problem that you could face is the loud call and thus, it is advised not to keep them in a small enclosed room or your bedroom.

To care for this animal, it should be ensured that they are kept cool and provided with lots of plants and branches to climb on. They also need humidity and a water dish should be provided for the spring peeper frogs.

Did you know...

The name spring peeper fits only the northern spring peeper as the northern spring peeper call is from March to June while the southern spring peeper sings in winter months and thus, people believe that they should be called 'winter peepers'.

There is one category called 'satellite males' which position themselves with the louder males and tend to intercept females that are drawn or attracted by these calls.

To make their calls, these peepers close their nostrils and mouths and squeeze their lungs. This causes the vocal sac in their throats to inflate like a bubble or balloon. The sound takes place as the air leaves the lungs.

The song or call of the spring peeper sounds like sleigh bells when these peepers sing in group or chorus.

Among the spring peeper adaptations is that this animal absorbs water through the skin and thus, does not actually need to drink water.

To tell the gender of this animal, during the breeding season, the throat color helps distinguish male and female. The throat color of the female spring peeper tree frog is cream-colored while that of the male is dark and loose.

These animals are active from the end of winters to late fall and after that, they dig into soils and begin hibernating.

It is believed that to keep frogs away from your house, spread salt or coffee around your house. You can also use water and vinegar solution to keep tree frogs away.

To find these animals, look for them in marshy woods, lowlands near ponds, and swamps. These are often on the ground and hide in leaf litter. They tend to be in freshwaters where there are no fishes.

How loud are spring peepers?

A spring peeper frog call is audible very clearly due to the loud and high-pitched noise. Studies show that if you are within the 50 m range of the male peeper, it is as loud as a motorcycle which is almost 25 ft away. The loudness is around 90 decibels.

Can spring peepers withstand being frozen?

The spring peeper tends to live on land in winters during hibernation and they can get frozen solid for three days and still survive due to the natural antifreeze in their blood. That is one cool spring peeper frog adaptation!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including Surinam toad, or poison frog.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our spring peeper coloring pages.

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