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New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide
New Jersey Chorus Frog
Species Group: Amphibian
State: Special Concern
This species is nearly identical to the upland chorus frog (Pseudacris ferarium). The best way to tell them apart is by their voice and range. The voice of the NJ chorus frog is a regularly repeated creaking sound, like someone running their nails over the teeth of a comb.
New research indicates New Jersey populations are all New Jersey Chorus Frogs, Pseudacris kalmi, not the Upland Chorus Frog, Pseudacris ferarium.
This species is brown to gray in color and approximately ¾” – 1 ½” in size. There is a light strip along the upper lip and a dark stripe through the eye that runs down the side of the body. The belly is white. As with the upland chorus frog, a dark triangle may be between the eyes. Three thick dark stripes run down the back – these markings are usually darker on the NJ chorus frog than on the upland species.
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
This species occurs within New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania, and the Delmarva Peninsula of eastern Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. In New Jersey, it can be found primarily within the southern and eastern portions of the state, though not as common in the core Pinelands. The upland chorus frog is more often found in the northwestern portion of the state.
Habitat for this species includes various moist habitats, including grassy floodplains and wet woodlands containing shallow wetlands (marshes, ditches, swamps, or vernal pools).
Larvae will feed within the water on suspended organic debris, algae, and plant tissue. Adult frogs feed on small invertebrates.
Breeding begins in late winter and continues through June. Eggs are attached to submerged vegetation within shallow water in ponds, marshes, ditches, slow streams, or vernal pools where the larvae then develop. The aquatic larvae metamorphose in late spring.
CURRENT STATUS, THREATS, AND CONSERVATION
Although this species can be found throughout New Jersey, their population has been declining and needs to be monitored. The greatest threat to this species is loss or destruction of habitat. In 2016, due to population declines and habitat loss, the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Advisory Committee recommended a Special Concern status for this species within the state, but no formal rule proposal has been filed to date.
HOW TO HELP
The Endangered and Nongame Species Program would like for individuals to report their sightings of NJ chorus frogs. Record the date, time, location, and condition of the animal and submit the information by submitting a Sighting Report Form. The information will be entered into the state’s natural heritage program, commonly referred to as Biotics. Biologists map the sighting and the resulting maps “allow state, county, municipal, and private agencies to identify important wildlife habitats and protect them in a variety of ways. This information is used to regulate land-use within the state and assists in preserving endangered and threatened species habitat remaining in New Jersey.”
Text written by Michael J. Davenport in 2016.
- NatureServe. 2015. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed: January 4, 2016).
- Schwartz, Vicki and D.M. Golden. 2002. Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of New Jersey. New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Species: P. kalmi
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