Hello, and welcome to my little corner of the Salemite! This article marks the beginning of a monthly venture exploring the flora and fauna of Salem’s campus. Though I am sure many of you are familiar with some of the creatures I will be covering, hopefully I can provide some further insight into their lives and habits.
This month’s edition will be focusing on none other than our little froggy friends around the lily pond across from the cafe! Commonly known as Cope’s Gray Treefrog, or Hyla chrysoscelis to be specific, these frogs are found throughout the southeastern United States and live around both permanent and temporary bodies of freshwater eating bugs and looking for a good time. As the season transitions to fall, these frogs will cease their melodic mating calls in the evening and spend much of their time up in the trees.
According to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Cope’s Gray Treefrog can change its color depending on its activity and environment. So you may come across one of these frogs with very light gray, dark gray or even grayish-greenish skin. One of this frog’s most eye-catching characteristics is the bright orange or yellow of their inner thighs possibly meant to surprise predators when they leap away.
If you happen to handle one of these frogs, it is recommended that you wash your hands afterwards, because their skin secretions could irritate the eyes or open wounds.
The gray treefrog pictured in this article was caught the evening of September 3 by following its call into the shrubbery surrounding the pond. It took quite a while to hunt them down because of their superb camouflaging abilities. These frogs can be a bit shy, so when trying to finding them avoid making any loud noises and have a bit of patience.
Thanks for reading this first edition of Wildlife Rambles and I hope you look forward to next month’s adventure! Here’s a hint: I’ll be covering one of Salem’s more reclusive furry friends.