Spring Peepers: Heralds of Spring
Vol. 4 Issue 2, Spring 1999
By Dave Harrelson
One of the sure signs of approaching spring is the nightly calling of the spring peeper (Pseudacris cruciferis). This tiny frog is about an inch to an inch and a half long and is typically the first of our frog species to emerge from winter hibernation.
For such a small animal, spring peepers have extraordinarily loud voices. They can be heard from great distances. Seeing them is another matter, not only because of their small size but because of their ventriloquist’s ability to throw their voice.
This species occurs wherever standing water may be found. Males, which do the calling, typically perch on vegetation either emerging from the water or near the water’s edge. Even when you know where to look, locating individuals can be a real challenge and makes for good out-of-doors entertainment for children on a spring evening.
During the remainder of the year, individual peepers occasionally may be observed in wooded areas during rainy weather.
The spring peeper is identified easily by its light brown color and a distinctive darker X on its back.
So, enjoy the coming season. Spend an evening looking for these interesting animals.