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Spring Peepers

(by Jane Kolias)

Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) are one of the first frogs to start calling as soon as pond ice begins to melt. They over-winter under logs, in holes, or beneath loose bark. They produce a certain type of glucose that acts as an anti-freeze and prevents lethal internal ice crystals from forming enabling them to survive the winter.

Their common name reflects the time of year in which their high pitched, single note “peep” is heard. The first part of their scientific name, “Pseudacris”, depicts the genus they belong to as that of the chorus frog. The second part “crucifer” is Latin for cross-bearer and refers to the “X” shaped mark on its back that resembles a cross or crucifix.

Spring Peepers are the smallest frog found in NH but make up for their diminutive size with their shrill call that can reach over 100 decibels (according to almanac.com). They produce their “peep” by inflating a vocal sack that forms a large bubble-like structure underneath their mouth. When vocalizing in large numbers, called a chorus, they can be heard up to 2 ½ miles away (dnr.state.mn).

Learn more about Spring Peepers

Photos: Vt Herp Atlas