Scientific Name: Pseudacris brachyphona
Classification: Nongame species-Special Concern
Abundance: Rare; Extreme southwest corner of state (blue)
Photo by Lori Williams
The mountain chorus frog is a small, stocky frog, usually brown or gray, with a prominent stripe running from the eye to the groin on each side of the body. The stripes bend inward to form two crescents; in some individuals, they meet in the middle of the back to form an "X." Like most other chorus frogs, this species has a white line above its lip and a dark triangular spot between the eyes.
Very little is known about mountain chorus frogs in the state. In North Carolina, they are found only in the extreme southwestern corner of the state, where they have been documented from only a few sites in Cherokee County.
They breed in hillside streams, shallow ponds and ditches from Frebuary to April. Eggs are laid in masses of 10 to 15 and are attached to grasses, twigs and leaves. Tadpoles metamorphose in about eight weeks.
The mountain chorus frog is classified as a nongame species with no open season. It is a state-listed species of special concern and cannot be collected or taken except under a special permit issued by the Wildlife Commission’s Executive Director. More information
There are no reported problems with this species.
Wildlife Diversity staff conduct annual inventory and monitoring surveys for mountain chorus frogs. Surveys consist of road cruising at night during wet or foggy conditions and stopping to listen for calling male frogs in breeding habitats. Since the project began in 2008, staff and partners have documented over 160 new locations for the frog, including a new county record (Clay) in 2011, and updated records at, or near, all historical sites except for two.
General Information on Frog and Toad Monitoring
Frogs and toads can be monitored fairly easily in a variety of ways. One way is through frog call monitoring. The North Carolina Calling Amphibian Survey Program attempts to do just that by corralling data collected by volunteers across the state that monitors specific frog call routes. Each species of frog and toad has a unique call that is distinguishable from others. Some are more difficult for humans to separate than others, but the frogs know who’s who! Learn your frog calls, and you too can distinguish who’s calling in the ponds. Another way to monitor frogs and toads is by looking for egg masses deposited in wetlands and/or by looking for tadpoles in those same wetlands. Different frogs breed at different times of the year, so when to look for eggs is dependent on the species of interest. Eggs typically hatch within a couple weeks of being deposited, so there is a fairly short window for detection. Frog eggs can sometimes be identified to family, but are somewhat tricky to identify to species level. Tadpole identification can be similarly tricky, so learning and listening to frog calls is definitely the easiest method for determining what frogs and toads are using a wetland. Tadpoles are a little easier to monitor, as most species have tadpoles present in wetlands for longer periods of time. This is, again, variable by species. Most species have tadpole stages that last at least several months, but the range in timing for different species is everything from a couple of weeks to several years. The smaller frog and toad species tend to have shorter tadpole cycles, while the larger frogs and toads tend to have longer times to metamorphosis.
Wildlife Diversity Program Quarterly Reports
Protected Wildlife Species of North Carolina Listings (PDF)
Mountain Chorus Frog (Photo by Lori Williams)
Mountain Chorus Frog being weighed by biologists for monitoring purposes (Photo by Lori Williams)
Moutain Chorus Frog - calling male (Photo by Lori Williams)
The call of the mountain chorus frog is a raspy "wreenk", and is somewhat similar to the call of upland chorus frgors, but is more rapid and higher pitched.