Blanchard's Cricket Frog: Acris crepitans blanchardi

Blanchard's Cricket Frog : Acris crepitans blanchardi

Common name : Northern (Blanchard’s) Cricket Frog
Scientific name : (Acris crepitans blanchardi)
Classification name : Treefrog

Description: This rough-skinned treefrog may be greenish-brown, yellow, red or black. It is distinguished by a dark triangle between the eyes and relatively short legs. Maximum adult size is a mere 4 cm.

Call: The breeding call is a rasping, or clicking, like pebbles striking each other.

Confusing Species: Other treefrogs within its range are the Spring Peeper, the Western Chorus Frog and the Gray Treefrog. The Spring Peeper is distinguished by a dark X on the back. The Western Chorus Frog has three dark continuous or broken lines down the back. The Grey Treefrog has a light spot with a dark border under each eye and bright orange/yellow inner thighs.

Distributions: The Canadian distribution of the Northern Cricket Frog is now limited to Pelee Island. It has not been heard on the mainland since 1972 and was last reported from Pelee Island in 1987. It is more widely distributed in the eastern and central United States as far as southern Texas.

Habitat: In the past, Northern Cricket Frogs have been found in natural marshes, deep drainage ditches and abandoned quarries. In Canada it is limited to the warmest parts of the Carolinian Zone.

Reproduction: Breeding does not begin until mid-summer. Individual females lay up to 400 eggs which hatch in three to four days. Metamorphosis takes place five to ten weeks later.

Natural History: The Northern Cricket Frog is sometimes divided into two subspecies of which the Canadian frogs are called Blanchard’s Cricket Frog. They eat small insects. Individuals rarely live more than one or two years.

Conservation Concerns: Never widespread in Canada, Northern Cricket Frogs are now considered endangered by both the federal and Ontario governments. The cause of their decline during the 1970’s is unknown, however habitat degradation and pesticide contamination are known to be problems within their range.