Photo by Jeff Beane
Scientific Name: Pseudacris nigrita
Classification: Nongame species
Range: Coastal Plain (blue)
Southern Chorus Frog (Photo by Jeff Beane)
Southern chorus frogs call primarily from January through March. Their breeding call is a mechanical, rasping trill, which some say resembles the sound of a ratchet-type wrench.
The southern chorus frog is tan or gray with a prominent dark brown striped extending along each side of its body, from snout to groin. The back is patterned with three rows of dark spots and the belly is usually white. It has a white line above the upper lip, and a triangular spot between the eyes.
Southern chorus frogs live in pine flatwoods, wet meadows, forested wetlands and wet roadside ditches in the Coastal Plain. They call primarily from January through March. They lay eggs in small clusters, attached to vegetation or other debris in shallow water. Tadpoles transform in about seven weeks.
Like other chorus frogs, these frogs are rather short-lived; very few individuals live more than 2 or 3 years.
The southern chorus frog is classified as a nongame species with no open season. It is unlawful for any person to take, or have in possession, any nongame mammal or bird unless that person has a collection license or is collecting fewer than 5 reptiles or fewer than 25 amphibians that are not endangered, threatened, or special concerned species.
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.
Wildlife Diversity Program Quarterly Reports