Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor or H. chrysoscelis)

This summer I’ve been fortunate to spot two gray treefrogs in the garden, one yesterday looking green (possibly a young one because of its bright emerald colour), the other on 3 August, a mottled grey-brown. I don’t know if one or both is the Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) or the very similar Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis); apparently, the two species look almost alike but have a different call, which I haven’t heard while watching one. Both species are about 1″ to 2″ long, with the Cope’s on the smaller side; both can be green, grey, tan, or brown in colour, or mottled; and both can change their color quickly, becoming darker when it’s cold or blending in with the setting.

Both frogs in my garden were hanging out on milkweed leaves, Asclepias incarnata in the fruit guild in the first photo, Asclepias syriaca in the back border in the second (and not very well camouflaged!). Is there nothing milkweed can’t do?


The last time I noticed a gray treefrog in the garden was about five years ago, on 25 Aug. 2014, looking pretty obvious (and rather bumpy) (and pensive) on this echinacea in the back border.


Mary Holland’s Naturally Curious blog has more info and more photos of the gray treefrog.


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