Pine Barrens Treefrog

Pine Barrens Treefrog (Photo: Jeff Hall)

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Scientific Names: Hyla andersonii

Classification: Nongame species; State-listed as Threatened; N.C. Natural Heritage Program-Significantly Rare

Range: Pine forests, sandhills of south-central NC (blue)


Pine Barrens Treefrog (Photo by Jeff Hall)

Pine Barrens Treefrog (Photo by Jeff Beane)


Pine Barrens treefrogs call from April to September. Males call from the ground or from shrubs or other vegetation near the water's surface. Their call, which sounds like a nasal "honk" or "quonk," is quickly repeated 10 to 20 times at infrequent intervals.

Additional Information

The Pine Barrens treefrog is named for the New Jersey Pine Barrens. It is a medium-sized green treefrog with a white-bordered lavender stripe down each side of its body and brilliant orange of the underside of each leg. Pine Barrens treefrogs are found in the pine forests and sandhills of south-central North Carolina. They are nocturnal and seldom seen, presumably spending their time in shrubs and trees. Most people see them during the frogs' breeding season. Breeding habitats include Carolina bays, pocosins (shrub bogs), spring-fed pools and bogs adjacent to pine forests. Females attach eggs singly or in small clusters to Sphagnum moss, or lay them on the bottom of the wetland. After hatching, tadpoles complete metamorphosis in seven to 11 weeks.

Pine Barrens treefrogs have a limited distribution in North Carolina, and populations are thought to be declining due to habitat destruction and degradation.

The Pine Barrens treefrog is classified as a nongame species with no open season. It is state-listed as an endangered species and cannot be collected or taken except under a special permit issued by the Wildlife Commission’s Executive Director. More information. The Pine Barrens treefrog also is listed as Significantly Rare in the N.C. Natural Heritage Program.

There are no reported problems with this species. 

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.