Last week Glenda Denniston photographed a tiny, beautifully colored gray tree frog sitting on a shagbark hickory re-sprout in the upper part of East Savanna (Old Orchard). At this time of year, during non-breeding season it dazzles with its solid lime green on the back. In Wisconsin it is seen quite commonly, but you have to look for something small. They are at most 2 inches long. They live primarily along forest or woodlot edges and in oak savanna, favoring brush over trees.
Preserve staff Bryn Scriver, Adam Gundlach and Laura Wyatt report having found gray tree frogs in various locations in the Preserve, and also during breeding season. See the photos below are by Bryn Scriver.
The DNR website explains that the two gray tree frog cousins, the Cope's gray tree frog and the Eastern gray tree frog, are tough to distinguish, especially during the breeding season when both are usually heavily mottled on the dorsal (top) side. Cope's, like the eastern gray, has bright yellow inner thigh markings when viewed from the underside or laterally when the legs are extended and has obvious toe pads.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors