Amphibians and Reptiles of Minnesota

A Complete On-line Field Guide to Minnesota's Amphibians and Reptiles

Boreal Chorus Frog - Pseudacris maculata PDF Print E-mail
Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs of Minnesota - Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs of Minnesota

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Boreal chorus frog, Pseudacris maculata

No status assigned in Minnesota.


These tiny frogs are probably Minnesota's smallest frogs with a body length of slightly over an inch. The ground color may be varying shades of brown, gray, olive or reddish. There are three relatively wide, longitudinal stripes down the back. These may be broken. The stripes are brown, rusty or greenish. The belly is plain light brown. There is a stripe from the snout through the nostril and eye and continues down the side to the groin. The body is long and slender compared to the short legs. The toe pads are very tiny.


There are no subspecies of Pseudacris maculata recognized. Formerly, the chorus frog described in Minnesota was the western chorus frog, Pseudacris triseriata triseriata, with an area of hybridization with the boreal chorus frog (P. t. maculata - then recognized as a subspecies of the western chorus frog).


The boreal chorus frog is found statewide.  


The boreal chorus frog is found in a variety of habitats, but never far from woodlands. They breed in temporary pools of water to large wetlands and even in shallow parts of lakes. Unlike other species of amphibians, this frog can survive in urban areas.


Boreal chorus frogs begin seasonal activity in late March or early April, and immediately begin calling and breeding. The call sounds like a "pprrreeep" similar to a chirping cricket or running a thumbnail down the teeth of a fine toothed comb. Most breeding activity is done by the end of May, but individuals may be heard giving their advertisement call in June or July, especially in evening or after rains. Boreal chorus frogs lay small clusters of eggs. The tadpoles metamorphose in about 2-2 1/2 months. Boreal chorus frogs do not move far from their wetlands during the summer, especially in urban environments. They apparently overwinter under rocks or logs.


Boreal chorus frogs feed on small invertebrates. They may hunt in low shrubs but due to their short limbs, they do not climb very high and they are not quite as acrobatic as other treefrogs.


A boreal chorus frog from Anoka County, Minnesota


A boreal chorus frog from Hennepin County, Minnesota

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