Pacific Tree Frog – by Christian Gronau

They had a good season this year (2015), filling our evening  and night air with their exuberant song. The Pacific Tree Frog is also known as the Chorus Frog, and for obvious reasons …
Unlike so many of its North American cousins, this hardy little frog seems not to be affected by the Eurasian Chytrid Fungus, which has caused what can only be referred to as an extinction event among the amphibians of our continent.*
Let us hope the Tree Frogs will continue to resist infection: for who would not miss the mild case of sleep deprivation caused by these vocal champions?
The casual observer might find this small frog somewhat confusing, due to the wide range of colour variation the species is capable of. Aside from its small size, the most constant feature is the black line, running through the frog’s eye – and, of course, its vocal accomplishments, which can not only be heard in our local ponds and marshes, but in nearly every Hollywood movie, set in a jungly location and in need of an “exotic” soundtrack.

By no means exhaustive, here is a collection of images, representing some of the more distinct colour phases.
* Frogs have enough to contend with during their fragile lives: it seems they are on everybody’s favourite foods list – and that certainly includes the three species of local Garter Snakes. Here Thamnophis sirtalis has hold of a beige Tree Frog, who is puffing itself up in a desperate attempt not to be swallowed.


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