Anura

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

Northern Spring Peeper

Family: Tree Frogs (Family Hylidae)

Common Name:
Northern Spring Peeper
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris crucifer

Adult Northern Spring Peeper, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Adult Northern Spring Peeper, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith

Size:
  • ¾ - 1¼ inches 
  • Record - 1½ inches

  • Appearance:
  • A small treefrog with a yellow, olive, grey or brown back.
  • It has a diagnostic dark cross on its back in the shape of an “X”.

  • Habitats:

    Photo of Habitat for Northern Spring Peeper, courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
    Photo of Habitat for Northern Spring Peeper, courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

  • Woodlands, particularly areas recently cut-over with brushy second growth, near shallow temporary or semi-permanent bodies of water where they call from during breeding season.
  • Considerable habitat overlap with chorus frogs.

  • How to Find:
  • Listen for the call from February to March, a piercing high single whistle “peep” repeated about every second.
  • A large chorus from a distance has been likened to the sound of sleigh bells.
  • Look on clumps of grasses and on the branches of low shrubs.
  • Best method to find is to triangulate with flashlights on same calling individual.
  • Calls day or night.

  • Distribution in Maryland:
    Maryland Distribution Map for Northern Spring Peeper