Northern Spring Peeper

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With the possible exception of the bullfrog the spring peeper (Hyla crucifer crucifer) is the most popular frog in Ohio. Its shrill peep, or whistle, is one of the first signs of spring. The call is very important during the March to May breeding season. The female will choose a mate by the quality of its call. Each female will produce 800 - 1,000 eggs.

Although its voice is loud, it is hard difficult to see, with an average body length of .75 - 1.75 inches. A peeper would easily fit on a dime. Their coloring of grays to browns, makes for perfect camouflage. The large, dark "X" on their back is a great way to identify them.

They can be found throughout Ohio. Spring peeper habitat includes wooded areas in or near flooded ponds and swamps.

Spring peepers are nocturnal and, like the gray treefrog, spend a lot of time in trees and shrubs. Their toes have large, sticky pads that help them to cling to tree trunks and climb them quickly.

The typical foods of the spring peeper include small invertebrates, such as spiders, ants and beetles.

This little frog hibernates under logs and loose bark. Like the Eastern wood frog and gray treefrog, the spring peeper produces glucose, or sugar, and "freezes" itself for the winter.

See Also