Boreal Chorus Frog
Boreal Chorus Frog
Boreal Chorus Frogs are the smallest native species of frog living in Alberta. They range in size from only about 20-40 mm! They have 3 dark stripes on their back, and are also sometimes known as the Striped Chorus Frog. The background color ranges from brown to green, with a yellow to light green underbelly. Boreal Chorus Frogs are technically part of the tree frog family, but are poor climbers, so don’t spend much time in trees. They feed on small insects.
Given their name, you can guess what Boreal Chorus Frogs are famous for: their voices! They emerge very early in the spring, in early April, congregate in large numbers, and the males immediately begin calling day and night. The call is described as being similar to running your fingers along the teeth of a comb. They lay between 150-1500 eggs, which hatch in 10-14 days. As you can imagine, the tadpoles are very small (4-7 mm), but grow to about 30 mm and metamorphose into juvenile frogs in only 2 months. In most of Alberta, they can breed in their second summer, but in the Northern half of the province, they generally don’t breed until their third summer.
Boreal Chorus frogs are widespread throughout Alberta (they even extend up into the Northwest Territories), though their range does not extend into the mountains. They can inhabit any fishless body of water that is at least 10 cm deep, so occupy sloughs, ditches, flooded fields, mashes, swamps, small lakes. They can survive being frozen
Boreal Chorus Frogs are one of the most common frog species in Alberta. They are listed as Least Concern/Secure. Our belief, however, is that all reptiles and amphibians, regardless of conservation status, are deserving of protection. We want common species to remain common into the future. Threats to Boreal Chorus Frogs include toxins, like pesticides, and habitat loss.
Photo by Kyle Welsh