Upland chorus frog

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upland chorus frog (Pseudacris feriarum)

The upland chorus frog or southeastern chorus frog (Pseudacris feriarum) is a common species of frog, formerly considered a subspecies of the western chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata). They are found in wetlands, spring-fed woodlands, flooded fields, ditches and slow-moving creek beds throughout the piedmont region and lower foothills of the Southeast including most of Alabama, and stretching as far as New Jersey and Texas. They are also related to the southern chorus frog (Pseudacris nigrita) which inhabits the lower coastal plain region.

Upland chorus frogs are small, ranging from 3/4" to 1 3/8" long. They are usually dull-colored, ranging from ruddy gray to gray-brown or tan with a light-colored line across the upper lip and a dark lateral line bisecting their eyes. Some have three lateral stripes down their back, but they are often faint or broken into spots. Males have a visible vocal sac under the chin.

The upland chorus frog is generally nocturnal, spending its days hiding under logs in thick grass or in moist leaf litter and coming out at night to forage for insects and snails. It feeds less during winter and the males sometimes fast through the breeding season in winter and early spring. The frogs are prey for fish, birds, snakes, turtles and small to medium-size mammals. Their primary defense is camouflage.

In anticipation of breeding season, the males gather after rains in flooded fields or on the edges of isolated ponds (those less likely to be inhabited by predatory fish) and sing together through the day with a short (1-second) repeated trill which pitches upward. The call is sometimes likened to the sound of a finger dragging across a plastic comb, and is considered an early sign of the arrival of spring. The females lay strings of about 10-500 eggs among underwater plants. They are immediately fertilized by their mates and hatch within two weeks. The tadpole larvae feed on algae, decomposed plants and diatoms in mud and on plants. In turn they are preyed upon by a range of animals including beetles, dragonfly larvae, spiders, newts, snakes and fish. The survivors metamorphose into adults over a period of 2-3 months.


  • Baird, S. F. (1854) "Descriptions of new genera and species of North American frogs." Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. No. 7, pp. 59–62
  • Dorcas, M. E. and J. W. Gibbons, J.W. (2008) Frogs and Toads of the Southeast. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press