- 1 to 1.5 inches long; dark “X” shape on its back.
- Generally common, even in suburban and agricultural areas.
- Use temporary and permanent ponds, marshes, floodings, and ditches for breeding.
- Disperse into woodlands and shrubby areas.
- Over-winter beneath logs, bark, and fallen leaves – survive subfreezing temperatures by producing a glucose-based antifreeze that causes ice to form in the extra-cellular spaces rather than in body cells.
- Secretive nature, cryptic coloration, and early breeding reduces contact with many potential predators.
- “Peep, peep” used as a mating call; trilled “peeeeeeeeeeeeeep” as an aggressive spacing call.
- Begin calling in mid-March to early April.
- “Satellite males” do not call, but remain near a calling male and intercept an approaching female.
- Most breeding occurs in April.
- Eggs are laid singly or in small clusters, usually in rows attached to twigs or aquatic vegetation. 750-1300 eggs are laid.
- Eggs hatch in 4-15 days and tadpoles transform into frogs 45-90 days later.
- Sexual maturity is reached in 1 year. Few reach their third breeding season.
- Permanent wetlands.
- Grasslands and savannas.