Wisconsin Sea Grant Frogs: Field Guide
Western Chorus Frog
Call: A short, rising "cree-ee-ee-eek" which
has been compared to the sound made running a finger over the fine teeth
of a pocket comb.
Size: 1.9-3.9 cm in length (0.75-1.5 inches)
Brown, reddish, or tan to gray or olive; the belly is creamy or white,
sometimes with dark spots on the throat and chest; a distinctive white
or cream-colored stripe runs along the upper lip, bordered above by a
dark brown stripe running through the eye from nostril to the groin; three
dark stripes usually run down the back.
Generally lives in marshes, meadows and other open habitats,
though it may be found in damp woods or wooded swamps; found throughout
the Great Lakes region except in east-central Ontario and Michigan's Upper
The Spring Peeper lacks the distinct white upper
lip line and usually has an X-shaped marking instead of lengthwise striping
on the back. Blanchard's Cricket Frog
is wartier and also lacks the white lip stripe and dark back stripes.
Small Wood Frogs have dorsolateral folds
-- ridges of skin that run down each side of their back.
Breeding: Mid-March into late May
FACT: Its loud call, combined with a distinctive dark stripe that
runs from the snout through its eye and along its body, make the Western
Chorus Frog easy to identify. You might have a hard time spotting one,
however, because these frogs rely on secrecy to protect themselves from
their enemies. Any disturbance will cause these frogs to stop calling
and dive to the pond bottom, where they will hide in the mud until the
danger has passed.
Did you know?
This frog may be tiny, but its voice is huge - it can make
itself heard a half- mile away! The Western Chorus Frog is one of the
earliest frogs out in the spring, often starting to call when patches
of snow still cover the ground and ice has barely melted from the edges
of ponds and ditches.
copyright 2001 University
of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute