Wisconsin Sea Grant Frogs: Field Guide

Blanchards Cricket Frog
(Acris crepitans blanchardi)

Call: A series of metallic "gick-gick-gick" noises, similar to the sound made when two pebbles are tapped together; the call, which may last more than 30 seconds, usually starts slow, then increases in tempo, sometimes ending in an irregular rattle.

Size: 1.6-3.8 cm in length (0.6-1.5 inches)

Brown, tan, olive or gray, sometimes with scattered green, reddish, or black blotches or spots, and a broad light stripe down the back; a dark triangle, pointed backward, is usually visible between the eyes.

Found in the open edges of permanent ponds, bogs, lakes, and slow-moving streams or rivers; in the Great Lakes region, this frog was once common in the southern parts of Wisconsin and Michigan, but now has all but disappeared and is considered an endangered species in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

he Blanchard's Cricket Frog has bumpy skin and long hind legs with webbed toes. You might spot this little frog along pond or lake edges, or in slow-moving streams or rivers. If aquatic plants are present, these frogs may be seen floating on algae mats or on water lily leaves.

Confusing Species:
The Western Chorus Frog has a whitish stripe along the upper lip and lengthwise brownish stripes on the sides and back; its toes are only slightly webbed. The Northern Spring Peeper has smoother skin and, usually, an X-shaped marking on the back.

Breeding: Mid-May through early July

FACT: In the winter, while many frogs hibernate in the mud at the bottom of lakes or ponds, the Wood Frog will hibernate on land beneath loose soil, leaves or decaying logs. They survive freezing temperatures by producing a natural "antifreeze" in their bodies.

Did you know?

This tiny frog gets its name because it resembles a cricket while hopping along through the grass. If startled, it is the champion jumper of its size class, able to cover great distances at a single bound.

Jumping records for Blanchard's Cricket Frogs are about 90 cm (35 inches) for a vertical jump and 1.2 m (4 feet) for a single horizontal leap -- pretty amazing for a frog that may be less than an inch long!





copyright 2001 University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute


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