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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spring Peeper


Beauty Of Animal | Spring Peeper | There are two subspecies of the Spring Peeper, the Northern (P. c. crucifer) and the Southern Spring Peeper (P. c. bartramiana). The Northern is similar to the Southern except for a strong dark marking on the Southern frog's belly. The Southern (P. c. bartramiana) is found along the southern Gulf Coast from south eastern Texas to northern Florida and southern Georgia, while the northern can be found all over the eastern USA and eastern Canada.
Spring peepers are to the amphibian world what American robins are to the bird world. As their name implies, they begin emitting their familiar sleigh-bell-like chorus right around the beginning of spring. Found in wooded areas and grassy lowlands near ponds and swamps in the central and eastern parts of Canada and the United States, these tiny, well-camouflaged amphibians are rarely seen. But the mid-March crescendo of nighttime whistles from amorous males is for many a sign that winter is over.
Spring Peepers primarily live in forests and regenerating woodlands near ephemeral or semi-permanent wetlands. The amphibious species require marshes, ponds, or swamp regions in order to support the aquatic environment the eggs and tadpoles need. In the northern reaches of their range, Spring Peepers must frequently endure occasional periods of subfreezing temperatures during the breeding season. The species can tolerate freezing of some of its body fluids, and undergoes hibernation under logs or behind loose bark on trees. It is capable of surviving temperatures as low as -8°C. 
 
This species frequently occurs in breeding aggregations of several hundred individuals, and commonly breeds in many small wetlands, including swamps, temporary pools and disturbed habitats such as farm ponds and borrow pits Spring Peepers breed in southern areas from October to March, depending on the local temperature. In northern areas, they breed between the months of March to June when the warm rain starts. P. crucifer typically lay around 900 eggs per clutch, but up to 1000 is possible
 
Egg clusters are hidden under vegetation or debris at the water base. After hatching, they transform into frogs and are ready to leave the water in about eight weeks. In very cold weather, they hibernate under logs and loose bark. Spring Peepers often call day and night as long as the temperature is above freezing, but they are mostly heard and usually not seen because they usually hide in dense plants.
They are especially easy to hear due to their extremely loud mating call which gives them the name "peeper", but it is often hard to pinpoint the source of the sound, especially when many are peeping at once. The peepers generally like to breed when it is closer to dusk and throughout the evening and early morning hours. Their calls can be heard from as far as one mile to two and a half miles depending on the amount of peepers in one pond. The Spring Peeper can go on to live an estimated 3 years in the wild.

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