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Species Description

Ornate Chorus Frog

Pseudacris ornata


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Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Hylidae

Description

Ranges from green to gray or reddish-brown. Individual frogs can change color rapidly and may be mottled with green. The lower belly may be tinted yellow. There may be yellow spots on the side of the body and inner thighs. The Ornate Chorus Frog has a dark stripe through the eye that extends down the side to about the shoulder. There are large dark blotches on its sides and low in back. There is a dark triangle between the eyes. A small to moderate-sized frog, 2.5 - 3.2 cm (1 to 1 1/4 in) in length.

Life Cycle

This frog breeds from late fall to early spring, depending on winter rains. The female starts to deposit eggs in shallow ponds during November. Clumps of 10 to 100 eggs are attached to vegetation. Hatching and transformation times are temperature dependent; the colder the temperature, the longer it takes to complete maturation. Eggs hatch in a week or so, and tadpoles transform to little frogs in two to three months. This frog is nocturnal. It eats insects and other small invertebrates. It is very secretive and spends a great deal of time in burrows, so it is rarely seen except at breeding time. Open woodlands and grassy areas around small ponds, ditches, Carolina Bays, and other temporary wetland habitats are preferred.

Range

Ornate Chorus Frog Region Map This frog is found throughout the Coastal Plain in sandy pine woods.

Conservation Status

This is a common frog on the Coastal Plain, although it is seldom seen. Habitat preservation is important to maintain population sizes.

Similar Species

This is the most brilliantly colored of the Chorus Frogs. It is difficult to confuse it with other species. The other Chorus Frogs in Georgia do not have the spotting pattern and coloration of the Ornate Chorus Frog.