Photo by Jeff Hall
Scientific Name: Pseudacris feriarum
Classification: Nongame species
Abundance: Most common in Piedmont; rarer in the mountains and Coastal Plain (blue)
The upland chorus frog call is a regularly repeated "crrreekk," sounding similar to fingers running over the teeth of a comb.
The upland chorus frog has considerable variation in color and pattern. Body color ranges from greenish gray to reddish brown. A dark stripe runs along each side of its body, from snout to groin. Most individuals have three stripes or rows of blotches on their backs, a triangular spot between their eyes and a white line on their upper lips. The underside is granular and generally cream-colored and some individuals have dark spots on their chests.
Upland chorus frogs are more common in the Piedmont, although they are also found in the Coastal Plain and mountains. They are usually found near grassy ditches, flooded fields and temporary wetlands. Outside of the breeding season, upland chorus frogs are rarely seen; however, some are occasionally seen in woodlands, weedy meadows and swamps.
Upland chorus frogs call in the winter and early spring. They attach soft egg masses to vegetation. The tadpole period lasts eight to 12 weeks. They appear to be relatively tolerant of human activities, often breeding in road-side ditches and other human-associated habitats.
The upland 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