Blanchard's Cricket Frog
Acris crepitans blanchardi
photo by Jeff Davis
Listen to the call of Blanchard's cricket frog
|Species Description: This
is one of the smallest frogs in West Virginia, attaining a snout-vent length
of only about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). It has a dark triangle between
the eyes, a longitudinal stripe along rear surface of the thigh, extensive
webbing between the hind toes, and two pairs of white tubercles below the
cloacal vent. It may be green, yellow, or brown in color with a cream
belly. The male's vocal sac is usually yellow with some dark mottling.
Blanchard's cricket frog is slightly larger and bulkier than the northern
cricket frog and it has wartier and rougher skin. If you find a tiny
frog and are unsure of what it is, feel its skin. If the skin feels
rough and warter its probably a cricket frog. Most other small frogs,
like peepers and chorus frogs, have smooth skin.
Habitat: Blanchard's cricket frog is usually found on the open sandy or muddy areas around streams and ponds. If you walk around a pond during the summer you can usually see lots of little cricket frogs hopping into the water. Unlike most frogs which dive when alarmed, cricket frogs usually get a few feet out into the pond or river and then turn back around and head back to the shore! This makes them pretty easy to catch.
Breeding Activity: Cricket frogs call later in the summer than most frogs. Listen for their call, which sounds like hitting marbels together, around late May, June, and July. The female deposits around 400 eggs in the aquatic vegetation and they hatch in a few days. In West Virginia, recently transformed cricket frogs have been found in September. I have found newly metamorphosed frogs in July and early August in Kentucky.
Range: Blanchard's cricket frog has been found in the western counties along the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers in West Virginia. However, apparently Blanchard's cricket frog has not been seen by anyone for at least 10 years!!! We are still trying to determine whether this species still exists in West Virginia or if it has become extinct in the state.
last update 10/01