Family Hylidae - Tree Frogs

Number of Species in the World and in Canada
The family Hylidae represents tree frogs and chorus frogs, of which there are 600 species worldwide and 6 species in Canada.

Identifying Characteristics
These frogs are small, slim and vary in colour, with some changing colour according to their environment. Not all species are tree climbers, but they do have enlarged adhesive pads at the tip of each toe and their legs are long and slender. Through evolution, some species have lost most of the adhesive pad and remain close to the ground, climbing only to low heights. Tree frogs have extra cartilage between the pad and the rest of the digit to help the muscles in lifting the pad. Tree frogs often have flash colours on their hind legs and at the side of their body. These patches of colour catch the attention of the predator's eye when it leaps, but when the frog lands and folds its legs the colour disappears and the predator loses sight of its prey.

These frogs eat insects in an arboreal environment. The tree-climbing members of the family have adhesive toe discs to help them manoeuver as they find food.

After mating, the eggs are laid singly or in small globular masses in open water in temporary or permanent ponds. The tadpoles develop rapidly and transform between June and September into froglets and sexual maturity is reached within 1 to 2 years. Males have paired or single vocal pouches.

The members of this family belong to three Genera: Acris, Pseudacris and Hyla

Genus Acris
These frogs are nonclimbing members of the tree frog family. They are very small frogs with a warty appearance and extensively webbed toes. They have a distinctive "V"-shaped spot between the eyes and longitudinal stripes on the thigh.

This genus is represented by one species in Canada:
Cricket frog (Acris crepitans)

Genus Pseudacris
This genus contains chorus frogs, which gain their name from their extended spring chorus, sometimes extending for as long as 2 months. Chorus frogs are ground dwellers and are the first frogs to appear in spring.

Two species in this genus occur in Canada:
Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
Striped chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata)

Genus Hyla
Like other true tree frogs, this genus has an enlarged pad at the tip of each toe and its members are efficient climbers.

Three species in this genus occur in the Canada:
Diploid grey tree frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
Tetraploid grey tree frog (Hyla versicolor)
Pacific tree frog (Hyla regilla)