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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Boreal Chorus Frog - Pseudacris maculata

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Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 3


 

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Copyright by Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network
 
General Description
Adults have tiny, almost unnoticeable toe pads; a dark line extends from the snout through the eye to the groin. Basic coloration varies, with background color green, brown, gray, or reddish. Typically three to five dark longitudinal stripes are present on the head and back; in some individuals the stripes may be broken into spots. Adult body length is 0.75 to 1.5 inches. Eggs and Tadpoles: Eggs are laid in clusters of 20 to 100; clusters are usually less than 1 inch across and attached to submerged vegetation. Tadpoles are brown/bronze with eyes located on the sides of the head.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Pacific Tree Frogs have obvious toe pads and an eye stripe ending at the shoulder.

Species Range
Montana Range

Click the legend blocks above to view individual ranges.

Western Hemisphere Range

 


Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 4177

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Migration
Nonmigratory.

Habitat
Boreal Chorus Frogs are regularly found in the water only during the breeding period in spring. They announce their presence this time of year by calling frequently at night and sporadically during the day. Following breeding, they move into adjacent uplands and are rarely seen. In eastern Montana, they breed in temporary ponds and small lakes surrounded by prairie (or occasionally open forest) habitats. Eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and tadpoles take 8 weeks to metamorphose. Inhabits marshes, ponds, small lakes in all life zones including lower alpine (Baxter and Stone 1980). When not breeding, generally found in damp grassy/marshy areas or damp forests near water, but has been found up to 0.5 km from water (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Hammerson 1982).

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
  • Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
    How Associations Were Made
    We associated the use and habitat quality (high, medium, or low) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
    1. Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2001, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
    2. Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species’ range and habitat requirements;
    3. Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point database associated with each ecological system;
    4. Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of “observations versus availability of habitat”.
    Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.  In general, species were associated as using an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.  However, species were not associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if point observations were associated with that system.  High, medium, and low habitat quality was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species in the literature.  The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignments of habitat quality.  If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact Bryce Maxell at bmaxell@mt.gov or (406) 444-3655.

    Suggested Uses and Limitations
    Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.  These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: http://mtnhp.org/requests/default.asp) or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.  Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.  Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.  Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).  Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species’ known geographic range.

    Literature Cited
    • Adams, R.A.  2003.  Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation.  Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.  289 p.
    • Dobkin, D. S.  1992.  Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34.  Missoula, MT.
    • Foresman, K.R.  2001.  The wild mammals of Montana.  Special Publication No. 12.  Lawrence, KS: The American Society of Mammalogists.  278 p.
    • Hart, M.M., W.A. Williams, P.C. Thornton, K.P. McLaughlin, C.M. Tobalske, B.A. Maxell, D.P. Hendricks, C.R. Peterson, and R.L. Redmond. 1998.  Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates.  Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.  1302 p.
    • Hutto, R.L. and J.S. Young.  1999.  Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32.  72 p.
    • Maxell, B.A.  2000.  Management of Montana’s amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species.  Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1.  Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana.  161 p.
    • Werner, J.K., B.A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath.  2004.  Amphibians and reptiles of Montana.  Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 262 p.

Food Habits
Ants, spiders, flies, beetles, aphids and other insects (Nussbaum et al. 1983).

Ecology
Most common amphibian noted in north-central MT. In high mountains, males may not breed until 2nd year, females at 3rd year. Survival to adulthood may be only around 1% in mountain populations (Hammerson 1982).

Reproductive Characteristics
Breed late March to early June in Wyoming (Hammerson 1982). Noted singing in early April in southwest ID and as late as early July (Nussbaum et al. 1983). Eggs hatch in 10 to 14 days and tadpoles metamorphose in about 2 months (Nussbaum et al. 1983). Metamorphosis observed late June to early August across eastern Montana (Mosimann and Rabb 1952).

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View WorldCat Record   View Online Publication
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    • Patla, D.A. and C.R. Peterson. 1997. Amphibians and reptiles along the Grand Loop Highway in Yellowstone National Park: Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Junction. 1 February, 1997. Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Amphibian Survey and Monitoring Program, Herpetology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID. 60 p.
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Boreal Chorus Frog — Pseudacris maculata.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=AAABC05130
 
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