Pine Barrens treefrog

PineBarrensTreefrog.jpg

Pine Barrens treefrog: Hyla andersonii

Taxonomic Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Hylidae 
Genus/Species: Hyla andersonii
Common Name: Pine Barrens treefrog

Listing Status

Federal Status: Not Listed

FL Status: State Species of Special Concern                                                         

FNAI Ranks: G4/S3 (Globally: Apparently Secure/State: Rare)                                                                                                                                        IUCN Status: NT (Near Threatened)

 

Physical Description

The Pine Barrens treefrog is a small frog that has toepads to help it climb trees.  This species can reach a length of up to 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).  Pine Barrens treefrogs have a pea-colored body that changes to a dark olive-green color when they are under certain conditions of stress and weather (Means 1992).  They also have a brown band that reaches from their nostrils to their legs, a white belly, and yellow spots throughout the body (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).

Life History

The diet of the Pine Barrens tree frog consists of different types of insects.  It will travel up to 345 feet (105 meters) from breeding sites to feed (Means 2005).

 

Male frogs can be heard calling from March to September in Florida, with tadpoles being found from May to August.  Male frogs use calling to attract females for mating.  Females will lay 200 or more eggs in one clutch, which hatch three to four days after being laid.  Fertilization of the eggs takes place while the eggs are being laid, as the males will fertilize the eggs as they are released from the female.  Tadpoles usually metamorphose (develop into a frog from a tadpole) in 50 to 75 days, with the treefrog maturing at 11 months of age (Means 2005, S. Bennett pers. comm. 2010).

Habitat and Distribution

Pine Barrens Treefrog Distribution MapThe Pine Barrens treefrog inhabits seepage bog pools in the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, the New Jersey Pine Barrens (the species’ namesake), and the Fall Line sandhills of North and South Carolina (Means 2005).  Seepage bog pools are acidic water pools with decayed vegetation caused by a subsurface water table or accumulated precipitation.  This species has now been recorded from 177 sites in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Holmes counties (Endries et al. 2009).

Threats:

Pine Barrens treefrogs are well adapted to acidic bogs.  These bogs are low-nutrient ecosystems, which makes them vulnerable to changes in water chemistry, flow, and water table drawdowns (Means 2005, Bunnell and Ciraolo 2010).  This species is also dependent on early succession fire-maintained habitats.  Suppressing fire in the habitat causes woody plants to invade which results in increased evapotranspiration (evaporation of water from the land and release of water vapor from plants).  Invasive vegetation, such as the Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum), is also a threat to the Pine Barrens treefrog because they degrade bog habitat by outcompeting endemic vegetation for the resources needed for survival (Jackson 2004).  Feral hogs are widely distributed on Eglin Air Force Base, which threatens treefrogs as the hogs will degrade their habitat by rooting (digging up soil).  The impending global climate change may be a threat to the Pine Barrens treefrog due to predicted longer drought periods, more severe storms and floods, less available fresh water, increasing temperatures, and sea level rise (Field et al. 2007).  Other threats include disease and increased predation on larvae by bronze frogs (Rana clamitans clamitans), two-toed amphiumas (Amphiuma means), red salamanders (Pseudotriton ruber), banded pygmy sunfish (Elassoma zonatum), and turtles.

 

Conservation and Management

The Pine Barrens treefrog is protected as a State Species of Special Concern by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species RuleExternal Website

 

-Biological Status Review (BSR) Adobe PDF

-Supplemental Information for the BSR Adobe PDF

 

Other Informative Links

Animal Diversity Web

Florida Natural Areas Inventory Adobe PDF

International Union for Conservation of Nature

 

Download

Printable version of this page Adobe PDF

References

Bunnell, J. F. and J. L. Ciraolo. 2010. The potential impact of simulated ground-water withdrawals on the oviposition, larval development, and metamorphosis of pond breeding frogs. Wetlands Ecology and Management 18:495–509.

 

Endries, M., B. Stys, G. Mohr, G. Kratimenos, S. Langley, K. Root, and R. Kautz. 2009. Wildlife habitat conservation needs in Florida. Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Technical Report TR-15. 178 pp.

 

Field, C. B., L. D. Mortsch, M. Barklacich, D. L. Forbes, P. Kovacs, J. A. Patz, S. W. Running, and M. J. Scott. 2007. Pages 617-652inM. L. Parry, O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof, P. J. van der Linden, and C. E. Hanson, editors. North America. Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

 

Florida Natural Areas Inventory. 2001. Field guide to the rare animals of Florida. http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Hyla_andersonii.PDF Adobe PDF External Website

 

Jackson, D. 2004. Florida Bog Frog: Management Guidelines for Species at Risk on Department of Defense Installations. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia.

 

Means, D. B. 1992. Florida bog frog. Pages 20-25 in P. E. Moler, editor. Rare and endangered biota of Florida, vol. III: amphibians and reptiles. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA. 291pp.

 

Means, D. B. 2005. Florida bog frog. Pages 556–557 in M. J. Lannoo, editor. Amphibian declines: the conservation status of U.S. Amphibians. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1094 pp.


Image Credit FWC, Kevin Enge



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