The green and the gray tree frogs

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Recently I visited a wonderful place called the Cape County Conservation Nature Center. While there I photographed these two complacent frogs. The frog on top is a gray tree frog. The one it is sitting on is a green tree frog.

The ranges of these two frogs overlap in Southeast Missouri. Both have a limited ability to change their color in order to blend into their surroundings. In fact, close observation of this photo reveals that the gray frog on top has taken on a bit of green color under its chin and along the part of its back leg that is resting on the green tree frog.

Tree frogs are most often found near bodies of water, which they need in order to reproduce. Gray tree frogs tend to prefer the safety of tree trunks and logs that more closely resemble the markings and normal gray color of their skin. Green tree frogs are most likely found on green vegetation where they blend in.

Tree frogs are sometimes called "rain frogs" because they are often heard "calling for rain."

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at The Painted Wren Art Gallery, 5H N. Main St.

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