Spring Peeper Frogs

Spring Peepers are very small light brown to russet-colored frogs with a darker X shape on their back and can be found near small bodies of water in North America. Their name comes from the “peep” sounds males make during mating season to call female frogs.

Spring Peepers make “peeping,” chirping noises and trills that sound like crickets during mating season. Note: You can also hear waterboatmen in the background of this recording.

Common NameSpring Peeper
Other NameChorus Frog
Scientific NamePseudacris Crucifer | Pseudacris Bartramiana
LocationsNorth America (East) | North America (South)
CharacteristicsX-shaped marking on the back
ColorBrown, Russet, Olive
OriginNorth America
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
FamilyHylidae
GeniusPseudacris
SpeciesP. Crucifer | P. Bartramiana
PoisonousNo
Max Legnth38mm (1.5 in)
Max Weight5 g (0.18 oz)
Lifespan4 Years

There is a small pond near where we live but it is very hard to spot Spring Peepers. They are extremely elusive and blend in very well with their environment. However it is very easy to hear them! They generally make noise on warmer evenings and stop around 2 to 3 am when birds and other predators become active again.

I wanted to see a Spring Peeper up close one night so I went when they were making mating calls, but when I approached the pond they all suddenly become very silent. I went back another night and tried some other tactics and managed to see a few of them! Check out my tips to spot Spring Peepers in the wild below.

Tips on How to Spot Spring Peepers

You can find Spring Peepers in wooded areas freshwater ponds, swamps, and marshes that often have no fish. They are generally active at night and stick to trees a couple inches off the ground. Spring Peepers hide from predators during the day under leaves, bark, and grass which keeps them moist.

Spring Peepers can be found in North America in PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, most of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Vermont, Missouri, Maryland, and North Carolina (P.C. Crucifer) as well as in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia (P.C. Bartramiana).

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It may be hard to locate a Spring Peeper in the wild since they can be very elusive, but it’s generally easy to hear them. They make loud “peep” sounds during mating season (that could be confused with cricket chirps) to call female frogs of the same species (CTNF).

  • Go scouting for Spring Peepers in the evening when they are active and bring a flash light.
  • Quietly approach the area where they are located.
  • Look around 10 to 20 cm (3 to 8 inches) above ground on tree trunks, they may be sticking to a tree.
  • While they make noise their vocal sacs enlarge, so look for something that looks like bubble gum ball.
  • They camouflage extremely well so look for slight moment and a shiny surface (their moist body).
  • If you go during the day, carefully turn over leaves that are close to the body of water.
  • Look for a shiny surface under leaves since their bodies can camouflage but are moist and catch light.

Interesting Spring Peeper Facts

  • Spring Peeper can be heard up to 1km from where they are located.
  • Spring Peeper are named after the “peep” sound they make during mating season.
  • Spring Peeper can be found in Eastern parts of the US and Canada, and Southern Parts of the US.
  • Spring Peeper can live up to 4 years.
  • Spring Peeper can lay up to 1000 eggs that can take 2-4 months to become froglets.
  • Spring Peeper like to hide from predators under leaves and bark duing the day.
  • Male Spring Peeper peep at night during the Spring to attract females.
  • Spring Peeper’s scientific name contains “Crucifer” because of the X or cross-shape on their back.
  • In French, Spring Peepers are called Rainette crucifère.
  • Spring Peeper can climb but generally remain close to the ground under leaves.
  • Spring Pepper hibernate under leaf litter during Winter.

More About Spring Peeper

Learn more about Spring Peeper in the following articles on our blog!

Questions Related to Spring Peeper

How Often do Spring Peepers Reproduce? Spring Peepers reproduce once per year in the Spring during the mating season between March and June (North USA) or November to March (South USA) and can lay up to 1000 eggs that will become froglets in about 2 to 4 months depending on the climate.

What do Spring Peepers Sound Like? Spring Peepers make “peep” noises, trills, and chirps that sound like crickets chirping in harmony during mating season so from November to March in the South of the US, and March to June in the North of the US and in Canada.

What do Spring Peepers Eat? As a general rule, Spring Peepers eat bugs like ants, flies, crickets, spiders, mosquitoes, and beetles. They generally feed on their prey in the evening while their predators such as birds are less active.

What are Spring Peeper’s Predators? Adult Spring Peeper predators include birds, snakes, raccoons, skunks, salamanders, and larger frogs. Spring Peeper eggs and tadpoles may be eaten by diving beetles, birds and could be eaten by fish although Spring Peepers generally reproduce in ponds where fish are absent.

How Long do Spring Peepers Make Noise? Male Spring Peeper make noise during mating season, generally from March to June in the North, or November to March in the South to attract female frogs of the same species. Their trill generally lasts from the evening to early morning.

Why Are Peepers so Loud? Male Spring Peepers try to attract female frogs of the same species and so they can be very loud and can be heard up to 1km from where they are located. They generally make noise in the evenings when their predators are less active.

Why do Spring Peepers Peep? Male Spring Peepers peep in the Spring or during mating season in order to attract female frogs of the same species to mate and breed. They generally make noise in the evenings when their predators are less active.

Do Peepers Peep all Summer? As a general rule, Spring peepers do not peep all Summer and migrate after mating season. Male Spring Peepers will generally peep from March to June in Canada and the Northern US, and from November to March in the Southern States.

Do Peepers Peep all Night? As a general rule, Spring Peepers start to peep in the evening during the mating season into the early morning around 2 or 3 am. So they do peep most of the night but should not peep during the whole night.

Are Spring Peepers Endangered? Spring Peepers are generally not endangered and are a Least Concern species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, they are listed as “Protected” in New Jersey and “Threatened” in Kansas (1997) and populations are dwindling where their natural habitats are disappearing due to urbanization.

Are Spring Peepers Poisonous? Spring Peepers are not poisonous, however like most amphibians they can carry salmonella and other bacteria or viruses so it’s important to avoid touching them or to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with Spring Peepers.

Sources

“Spring Peeper Profile”. National Geographic Society.

Ontario Reptile & Amphibian Atlas

Blaustein, A., L. Belden, D. Olson, D. Green, T. Root, J. Kiesecker. 2001. Amphibian breeding and climate change. Conservation Biology, 15/6: 1804-1809.

Levell, J. 1997. A Field Guide to Reptiles and the Law. 2nd ed. Lanesboro, Minnesota: Serpent’s Tale.