Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii)

Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii)

Photos by David Scott unless otherwise noted

Description: Pine Barrens Treefrogs are mid-sized, green treefrogs — 1-1 ¾ inches (2.8-4.4 cm) in length, with sticky toepads. Lavender stripes, bordered by a lighter cream or white, run down the sides and across the eyes, forming a mask. Orange is found on the concealed surfaces of the legs. Males are smaller than females and have loose skin under the chin.

Range and Habitat: The North American range of the species is limited to three disjunct populations in New Jersey, the Sandhills of northern South Carolina and southern North Carolina, and the Florida panhandle. The primary habitat of this species includes swamps, bogs, Carolina Bays, and pocosins of the Pine Barrens and Sandhills. Moist and humid bottomland forests of the Coastal Plains are considered marginal habitat for this species.

Habits: Like all our treefrogs, this species is nocturnal and seldom seen outside of its breeding season, which is during the late spring and summer.

Call: This species’ call sounds like a nasal “waank, waank.” This is very similar to that of the green tree frog (Hyla cinerea), but it does not carry long distances and is lower in pitch. Because of this calling similarity of these two species, the known range of the Pine Barrens Treefrog may be inaccurate.

Conservation Status: This species is not protected federally, but it is protected as a threatened species in South Carolina. Its small range and specific habitat requirements make this species vulnerable to habitat degradation.

Pertinent References:
Gerhardt, H. Carl. 1974. Behavioral Isolation of the Tree Frogs, Hyla cinerea and Hyla andersonii. The American Midland Naturalist 91(2):424-433.

Morin, Peter Jay, Sharon P. Lawler, and Elizabeth A. Johnson. 1990. Ecology and Breeding Phenology of Larval Hyla andersonii: The Disadvantages of Breeding Late. Ecology 71(4): 1590-1598.

Pehek, Ellen L. 1995. Competition pH and the Ecology of Larval Hyla andersonii. Ecology 76(6):1786-1793.

Account author: Jason Norman, University of Georgia – edited by J.D. Willson

Account Author: Lindsay Partymiller