Squirrel Treefrog
Hyla squirella

The Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella) is a well known frog of the southeastern United States.  In many areas of the southeast, they are known as "Rain Frogs" for their propensity to start calling any time of the day or night that it rains.
The Squirrel Treefrog is a frog of the southeastern United States but in Texas it is restricted to east Texas and along the Gulf Coast.  In Central Texas, Hyla squirella is reaching the edge of its range and they are not nearly as common or as well known as some of the other treefrog species around here.  The single record in Atascosa County, Texas is intriguing to me and I would like to be able to figure out where it was documented.  I have heard a lot of frogs calling in that county but never a Hyla squirrela.

The call of the Squirrel Treefrog has been likened to a squirrel (thus the name) or a nasal duck-like quacking.

Here are a pair of Squirrel Treefrogs calling in duet from a roadside ditch in Bee County, Texas.   These duet type call patterns are common in many Treefrogs.  The first male will call on one pitch and the responding male will call on a slightly higher pitch, probably to distinguish his call from that of his competitor.

Here is a section of the spectrogram for that duet.  You can see how the respondent's call is similar, but at a slightly higher pitch.

© Chris Harrison 2012

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