Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella)
Recognized Subspecies in VA: None
Size: 1.5 - 2 inches
Range: Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore | Not an unusual hitchhiker to campgrounds
Status: Least Concern
Squirrel Treefrogs are small Treefrogs common to forest in the eastern portions of the state. While Green Treefrogs like marshes, and Pine Woods Treefrogs like pine forest, Squirrels seed to be less picky, thriving in swamps, forest, and cutovers. This makes this species common in yards. I find Squirrel Treefrogs in kiosk, mailboxes, porta-johns, interpretive signs, and even bee hotels. They seem to enjoy these man-made shelters.
Squirrel Treefrogs are not much larger than a Spring Peeper, and can come in several colors. On top of that, they can change from shades of green to browns in just seconds. Calling males often turn green. Squirrels normally have brown tympanums, but occasionally individuals may have green tympanums.
Similar Species: The Green Treefrog is very commonly confused for this species, but Greens are longer-bodied, with a longer face. Greens are very clean looking frogs, often having a defined, cream, white, or golden line from the lip down the side. Squirrels may have a similar line at times, but it is much duller, and dingy with the pattern on the flanks below the line and no green. Greens may also have some gold flakes on the back, which Squirrels should lack, while Squirrels may have dark spots on the back that Greens will lack. Squirrels may have orangey front feet and toe pads as well. If you are struggling, you can always check the inner thighs. Squirrels will have golden spots and Greens will not. Pine Woods Treefrogs are very similar as well, but Pine Woods should have a visible line from the nostril, through the eye, and down the side.
Call is a raspy, stable "Quack" with a voice similar to an Eastern Gray Squirrel's bark. Occasionally will lazily call once during the day.
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