Spring Peeper

Pseudacris crucifer

Copyright, C.R. Smith, Siar Anthranir Photography

Spring Peepers are small frogs that grow less than an inch and a half long. They can be tan or gray or dark brown, but they all have a dark "X" on their backs. Spring Peepers also have large toe pads for gripping plants when they climb.

Spring Peepers are rarely seen, but are often heard in early Spring. They breed from March to June, and in early March you can hear male Spring Peepers calling for mates. Many people think they are crickets, but you only hear crickets in late Summer and early Fall.

Nature Watch

Spring Peepers live in wooded areas where there is water. Usually they are near marshes, ponds, streams, or temporary pools (water that sits in large pools in the Spring, but dries up in the Summer).

Spring Peepers need the water to lay eggs. This is also where they mate.

Spring Peepers are nocturnal, so they are most active at night.

Copyright, Joyce Gross, California Academy of Sciences

Ohio History Central

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Male peepers call the females at night in the Spring. Each call is a high-pitched whistle, but many peepers together sounds like jingling bells.

Females come to the calling males, and after mating, they lay eggs on underwater sticks and plants. Eggs hatch into tadpoles in about twelve days. Tadpoles will eat algae and tiny organisms in the water.

Tadpoles will change to adult Spring Peepers in a few weeks. Adults spend the rest of the year in the woods, coming out at night to look for food.

Spring Peepers eat mostly small insects, such as beetles, ants, and flies, as well as spiders. They look for food on the forest floor or by climbing low shrubs.

In the Winter, Spring Peepers hibernate under logs or loose bark on trees. These small frogs can survive having most of their body frozen.

Copyright, John White

Copyright, John White, California Academy of Sciences

Spring Peepers have many predators. As eggs and tadpoles, they are eaten by fish, aquatic insects, turtles, and other creatures. As adults, they are preyed upon by snakes, Bullfrogs, birds, and a few mammals.

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Male Spring Peeper Call
Sound
Unknown
Spring Peeper Chorus
Sound
Unknown
Male Spring Peeper Calling
Link to Video
www.midwestfrogs.com

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Copperhead

Common Cattail

Water Flea

Northern Ringneck Snake

Tussock Sedge

Black Carpenter Ant

Bullfrog

Common Reed

Common Black Ground Beetle

Crayfish

Common Duckweed

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

Green Darner

Yellow Pond Lily

Daring Jumping Spider

Large Diving Beetle

Pickerelweed

Rabid Wolf Spider

Creek Chub

Sassafras

Horned Fungus Beetle

Tesselated Darter

Witch Hazel

Crane Fly

Golden Shiner

Spicebush

Blue Bottle Fly

Bluegill

Smooth Sumac

Isopod

Yellow Perch

Highbush Blueberry

Pennsylvania Firefly

Eastern Painted Turtle

Greenbrier

Field Cricket

Mallard

Eastern Redcedar

Differential Grasshopper

Eastern Dobsonfly

Red Maple

Fungus Gnat

Muskrat

Poison Ivy

Giant Willow Aphid

Least Shrew

Virginia Creeper

Eastern Subterranean Termite

Eastern Chipmunk

Bracken Fern

Copepod

Wild Turkey

Switchgrass

Sassafras Weevil

Common Crow

Cinnamon Fern

Scud

Six-spotted Fishing Spider

Common Greenshield

Relationship to Humans:

Spring Peepers create a pleasant nighttime sound in the Spring. They are also good controllers of insect populations.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Amphibians
ORDER
Salientia
FAMILY
Hylidae
GENUS
Hyla
SPECIES
Pseudacris crucifer

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