Description: The spring peeper’s most distinctive trait is the dark cross or X-shaped blotch that usually is found on its back. In fact, the species name “crucifer” means “cross bearing.” The spring peeper can be tan, gray, yellowish, orange or pinkish. It is a small frog with small toe pads.
Habitats and Habits: These frogs are found throughout most of North Carolina, with the exception of the Outer Banks. Spring peepers inhabit woodlands and swamps, preferring areas of thick, brushy undergrowth near ephemeral or semipermanent ponds. The eggs are laid singly, submerged near vegetation at the bottom of the pond. The tadpole period is at least six weeks. After metamorphosis, young spring peepers disperse into the surrounding woodlands.
Call: Rarely seen during the summer months, spring peepers loudly announce their presence during warm, rainy nights and overcast days, most frequently from November to April. However, if conditions are right, they may call at any time of the year. Their high-pitched, whistle-like “peep” can be heard from about a mile away. Large choruses of spring peepers may sound like sleigh bells.
Frog Fact: The spring peeper is one of many North Carolina frogs that spends much of its time living in upland habitats. Human activities that alter habitat surrounding wetlands may be detrimental to populations of this species.
Spring Peeper Call