Natural Area Preservation

Spring Peeper

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Pseudacris crucifer crucifer

Identifying Features

  • 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.

Call

  • “Peep, peep” used as a mating call; trilled “peeeeeeeeeeeeeep” as an aggressive spacing call.

Breeding

  • 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.

Development

  • 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.

Habitat Type

  • Permanent wetlands.
  • Forests.
  • Grasslands and savannas.

​​Natural Area Preservation
Office:
3875 E. Huron River Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734.794.6627

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Dave Borneman
  Deputy Manager
Tina Stephens
  Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator
Becky Gajewski
  Stewardship Specialist
Michael Hahn
  Stewardship Specialist