Eastern Cricket Frog
Acris crepitans

Common Name:

Eastern Cricket Frog

Scientific Name:

Acris crepitans

Etymology:

Genus:

Acris is derived from the Greek words acr which means "sharp" and is meaning "equal".

Species:

crepitan is derived from the Latin word crepit which means "rattle" and ans which means "a handle" this refers to the "hand rattle" like call of the frog.

Subspecies:

Average Length:

1.6 - 3.5 cm

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This is a small frog reaching lengths of 5/8 to 1-3/8 inches (16-35 mm) *1014* *11407*. This species has moist warty skin, a dark triangle shape between the eyes an a median stripe or Y-figure on its back. This figure may be bright green, russet, yellow, or shades of brown or gray *1014*. On average, this species has a short hind leg. Therefore, when extended, the heel of the hind leg does not reach the snout *11407*. This species can be distinguish from Acris gryllus gryllus using the following characteristics: the dark stripe on the back of the thigh is generally more ragged/less defined than in A. gryllus and in A.c.crepitans, the first toe is completely webbed and the first 1-1/2 to 2 joints of the longest toe are free *11407* *1014*. Tadpoles have a distinctive black tail tip *1014*.

REPRODUCTION: Breeding season for this species lasts from March to July *11284*. A study of a temporary pond in Texas found that the breeding period for this species was April to June *11406*. The male mating call resembles the sound of two stones being hit together. A single call usually lasts through 20-30 beats *11407*. Breeding occurs during warm weather in shallow waters. The female lays eggs singly or in small groups. The eggs are attached to plant stems or scattered on the water body substrate. Tadpoles have a distinctive black tail tip. Metamorphosis occurs during late summer. The newly transformed frog is typically about 14 mm long *1014*. First reproduction occurs when individuals are less than 1 year old *11406*.

BEHAVIOR: This species has been shown to move 15 to 100 meters daily along the margin of a pond. A study of A. crepitans in Indiana found that the abundance of prey items in the stomachs of specimens was correlated with relative abundance of prey items in the surrounding habitat *11406*. This species is an opportunistic predator consuming primarily small arthropods *11284*. This species prefers grassy margins of ponds, ditches and wetlands *1014*. Permanent bodies of water with emergent or shoreline vegetation and exposure to the sun are preferred habitat. Though this species can also be found near intermittent streams *11284*.

ORIGIN: Native

LIMITING FACTORS: This species prefers open grassy areas along ponds, ditches and marshes and breeds in shallow water *1014* *11284*.

POPULATION PARAMETERS:

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: This species is largely a Piedmont species. It enters river valleys and sandhills of the coastal plain and is localized in major valleys in the mountains. This species is found in the grassy margins of ponds, ditches and wetland areas *1014*.

References for Life History

  • 1014 - Martof, B.S., Palmer, W.M., Bailey, J.R., Harrison, III J.R., 1980, Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 264 pgs., UNC Press, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 11284 - Wilson, L.A., 1995, Land manager's guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the South, 360 pp. pgs., The Nature Conservancy, Southeastern Region, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 11332 - Mitchell, Joseph C. and Karen K. Reay, 1999, Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia, Num. 1, 122 pgs., Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Richmond, VA
  • 11406 - Duellman, William E. and, Trueb, Linda, 1986, Biology of Amphibians, 671 pgs., The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
  • 11407 - Conant, Roger and, Collins, John T., 1998, Peterson Field Guide: Reptiles and Amphibians, Eastern/Central North America, 616 pgs., Houghton Mifflin Company;, Boston

Photos:

*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.


Verified County/City Occurrence

Accomack County
Albemarle County
Alexandria City
Alleghany County
Amelia County
Amherst County
Appomattox County
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Williamsburg City
Winchester City
York County
Verified in 77 Counties/Cities.



FROGS

Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.

SALAMANDERS

We have a large diversity of salamanders consisting of 56 different species and subspecies.

LIZARDS

Virginia is home to 9 native lizard species and two introduced species, the Mediterranean Gecko and the Italian Wall Lizard.

SNAKES

The Commonwealth is home to 34 species and subspecies of snake. Only 3 species are venomous.

TURTLES

Virginia has 25 species and subspecies of turtle. Five of these species are sea turtle.