Ohio Frog and Toad Calling Survey

Western Chorus Frog

(Pseudacris triseriata triseriata)

Distribution of the Western Chorus Frog in Ohio.

An adult Western Chorus Frog with vocal sac inflated.

Species Description:   The Western Chorus Frog attains snout-vent lengths from 1.9 to 3.9 cm (3/4 to 1 1/2 inches).  Its dorsal ground color is brown, gray, olive or tan and the belly is some shade of white.  The diagnostic feature is three dark stripes on the back.  These are often broken into a series of spots extending down the back.  Another dark stripe runs from the nose through the eye and down both sides of the body.  There is a white line above the upper lip.  Small discs are found at the tip of each toe.  Wet meadows and sparse, wet woods are inhabited.  They have even been recorded from urban areas with small remnants of suitable habitat.  Males have a midline vocal sac. 
Habitat: Western Chorus Frogs utilize a variety of habitats where dense thickets are available.  These include marshes, swamps, open forests, and fields.  
Reproductive Activity: Males begin calling in mid February or early March and continue into early May.  The call lasts two to three seconds and is a trilled “creak” rising in pitch towards the end.  It is repeated every few seconds.  
Ohio Distribution: Walker (1946) noted that this species' distribution is rather general in the glaciated parts of the state.  He also pointed out that it is sparsely distributed in the unglaciated portions of Ohio and that it was never reported from the Bluegrass Region.  Since Walker, Western Chorus Frogs have been documented from the Bluegrass Region and they have been found throughout much of the rest of the state.  In east central Ohio choruses have been heard but vouchers have not been collected.  The occurrence of this species can be puzzling. It may be present where habitat seems unfavorable yet in habitat that appears optimal, it is sometimes absent.    .
Status: Wherever this species is encountered, it is usually in large numbers. 
Photographic Recommendations: To distinguish this from the other four small treefrogs in Ohio, a dorsal view must include the striped pattern on the back.

Last modified:
Saturday, March 26, 2005

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