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

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

Treefrogs (Family Hylidae)

Sillouette of frog Treefrogs are relatively small anurans. They have a slim waist, long thin limbs and most have toes that terminate in distinctly enlarged discs or pads (except for the eastern cricket frog in Maryland). Treefrogs are distinguished from one another by a number of characteristics including, the type of dorsal markings they possess, the length of the back limbs, the presence or absence of a light spot under the eye and along the upper lip, and the size of the toepads.

There are a total of nine species of treefrogs in three genera that can be found in Maryland. Members of the three genera (Hyla, Pseudacris, and Acris) can be distinguished from one another using fairly obvious physical characteristics.

  1. Hyla species are primarily arboreal and have greatly enlarged pads at the terminal ends of the digits to facilitate climbing.  They lack dark longitudinal lines or “X” shaped markings on the dorsum. Hyla species include the barking treefrog (Hyla gratiosa), gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor), Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis), and green treefrog (Hyla cinerea).
  2. Pseudacris species are small and have longitudinal lines or an “X” shaped mark on the dorsum.  Although the toe-pads are distinct, they are not as large as the toe-pads of Hyla species. Pseudacris species include the mountain chorus frog (Pseudacris brachyphona), New Jersey chorus frog (Pseudacris kalmi), upland chorus frog (Pseudacris  feriarum), and northern spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer).
  3. The genus Acris is represented by one species in Maryland: the eastern cricket frog (Acris crepitans crepitans). This species is characterized by a longitudinal dark stripe on the rear surface of the thigh and toe-pads that are so small and indistinct that they are virtually absent.

Frog and Toad Anatomy

Click on species name for profiles
of each of the 9 species of treefrogs found in Maryland.

​​​​​

PhotoCommon NameScientific NameState Status

Adult Barking Treefrog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Adult Barking Treefrog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith

Calling Barking Treefrog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Calling Barking Treefrog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith

Barking Treefrog
Hyla gratiosa

This is a state endangered species, which was first discovered in Maryland in 1982.  Currently known only from Caroline, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.  If you find any please contact DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service.

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

Gray Tree Frog​

Hyla versicolor

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

Cope's Gray Treefrog​

Hyla chrysoscelis

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

Green Treefrog​

Hyla cinerea
Adult Mountain Chorus Frog, photo courtesy of Don Forester
Mountain Chorus Frog
Pseudacris brachyphona

State listed as Endangered.If you find any, please contact DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Service.


Adult New Jersey Chorus Frog, photo courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Adult New Jersey Chorus Frog, photo courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

Adult New Jersey Chorus Frog, photo courtesy of John White
Adult New Jersey Chorus Frog, photo courtesy of John White

New Jersey Chorus Frog
Pseudacris kalmi
Adult Northern Spring Peeper, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Adult Northern Spring Peeper, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Northern Spring Peeper
Pseudacris crucifer
 Photo of Upland Chorus Frog courtesy of John White
 Photo of Upland Chorus Frog courtesy of John White
 Photo of Upland Chorus Frog courtesy of John White
Photo of Upland Chorus Frog courtesy of John White
Upland Chorus Frog
Pseudacris feriarum
Adult Eastern Cricket Frog, photo courtesy of John White
Eastern Cricket Frog
Acris crepitans crepitans