|A slightly blurry picture of a Pacific Tree Frog (only had the phone camera handy - as usual)|
I already love these cute, little frogs (which only grow 3-5cm in length) so it was a pleasure to learn a bit more about them. They can range in colour from emerald green to light brown, but the dark stripe extending from their nostrils, through their eye, to their shoulder is their most distinguishing characteristic. I found a great Pacific Tree Frog factsheet on a British Columbia ministry website from which I learned that the Pacific Tree Frog is considered a "yellow-listed" species in BC. This means they are quite common and are managed at the ecosystem level. Protecting the shallow wetlands they use for breeding and laying eggs is most important. According to some information I found on wikipedia they are considered a keystone species due to their importance in the food chain. While the adult frogs eat spiders and insects their predators include a variety of snakes, birds, mammals and amphibians.
Pacific Tree Frogs breed in the late winter, or early spring depending on the local weather conditions. They make their way to shallow wetlands where the females lay anywhere from 10-90 eggs each. Shallow wetlands are ideal as the water usually dries up by summer, making the site uninhabitable for a couple of possible predators, such as fish and bullfrogs. As you can imagine the eggs, tadpoles, and the 1cm size frog that leaves the water within a couple of months, would all be quite vulnerable. Outside of breeding season these frogs can make their homes in a wide range of habitats, including the flower pot in your backyard.
The Pacific Tree Frog factsheet also has a little map showing where these frogs can be found in British Columbia. They are also found south along the west coast of the United States as far as Mexico, and were apparently introduced to Haida Gwaii by a kid who released a jar full of tadpoles he had collected on Vancouver Island. If you live in these areas keep your ears open for the distinct sound of these frogs, which is quite loud given their size. According to a couple of websites I came across their call is commonly used as background noise in movies.
|A Pacific Tree Frog photo found on wikipedia|