Anura

Field Guide to Maryland's Frogs and Toads (Order Anura)

Cope's Gray Treefrog

Family: Tree Frogs (Family Hylidae)

Common Name:

Cope's Gray Treefrog​

Scientific Name:
Hyla chrysoscelis

Adult Gray Treefrog, photo courtesy of John White
Adult Gray Treefrog, photo courtesy of John White

Adult Cope's Gray Treefrog, photo courtesy of Corey Wickliffe
Adult Cope's Gray Treefrog, photo courtesy of Corey Wickliffe


Size:
  • 1¼ - 2 inches
  • Record - 2⅜ inches 

  • Appearance:
  • These two species look exactly alike.  The only ways to separate them are by chromosome count and by their call.
  • Their coloration is normally grey or green, but is highly variable as they can change color depending on temperature, activities, mood and environment.
  • Most individuals have a light spot beneath the eye.
  • As a true treefrog, has large toe pads. This is the only treefrog with the inner thigh colored golden yellow with black mottling. The Pickerel frog also has yellow inner thighs but lacks the toe pads.

  • Habitats:

    Photo of Habitat for Gray Tree Frogs courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
    Photo of Habitat for Gray Tree Frogs
    courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

  • Usually observed on tree or shrub trunk or branches that grow in or immediately adjacent to shallow water bodies: permanent, semi-permanent or seasonal wetlands. 
  • Require a combination of forest and wetland. 

  • How to Find:
  • Listen for their nighttime calls from May through July, a hollow wooden trill, which is slow and more musical in H. versicolor and faster and more harsh sounding in H. chrysoscelis, though calling speed is affected by temperature. 
  • They may also call during the day.
  • Hyla chrysoscelis is the more common species on the Coastal Plain, while H. versicolor is more common in the rest of Maryland. 

  • Distribution in Maryland:

    Maryland Distribution Map for Cope's Gray Treefrog ​