Pacific Tree Frog Mating Season

Reader Bonnie Glantz shared this photo of two frogs in the water that she said were in the process of mating.

“It is technically called amplexus,” said knowledgeable local Shanna Archibold. “The males and females both change color to match their surroundings using chromatophores.”

According to

Pacific Tree Frogs become reproductively mature within 18 months. Their breeding season starts around November and continues till June-July…

The male frogs move to breeding locations and calls to attract the females. The males call both from inside and outside the water. During this time, the males fight with other males over females.

To read more about Pacific Tree Frogs and their mating habits, click this link.



  • The tragedy is that they changed their name from Hyla to Pseudacris. This is why frogs can’t have nice things… Come on, do they look like chorus frogs? Have another puff taxonomists.

  • Frog sex. Yum😈

  • Funny, the frog on the bottom doesn’t look like a Pacific Chorus Frog to me with that big webbed foot and ultra long toes. It looks more like a Red Legged Frog to me but the yellow on the undersides of the legs is kinda confusing? Hmmm? The size between the male and female seems extreme for a P. Chorus Frog in amplexus. Males and females are pretty close in size.(Note: Pacific Chorus Frogs are now called a Pseudacris sierra/ Sierran Treefrog.)

    This might sound crazy, but it looks to me like a Sierran Treefrog is in amplexus with either a Red Legged Frog or a Foothill Yellow Legged Frog? Definitely not a Bullfrog female.

    Now that’s a news story!

  • Female frogs have to contain the eggs, and thus are larger than the males. This isn’t an interspecies event, the red leggeds aren’t in the ponds in breeding shape at same time. Notice the face mask on both frogs is same, also the feet have the big toe pads showing this is the TREE-frog…
    The ranid frog which doesn’t have toepads, the face mask and has a vastly different body shape, specifically the Humboldt specimen

    Here’s a page which shows the extreme visual variability of the treefrogs

    So, no this isn’t perverted interspecies alien sex with robofrogs as part of the zombie apocalypse, I know life sucks, it’s just two boring frogs doing the boring old frog thing.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      I am no expert like others here, but I know that sticky toe pads are a big taxonomic deal for tree frogs. When you see that small frog on your window pane with toe pads, it’s a tree frog. This is way more fun than the new Star Wars movie, apparently. I burned out on the last one.

    • Great links! Thank you! Loved seeing the bluies! Use to help with some native water plant beds at a nursery and those little ones would get between the wood box and Visqueen liners and change themselves to the same shade of black. Love these little frog peoples! So incredibly amazing. Thanks Kym for running the article and giving us a chance to look at and discuss something wondrous but often over-looked.

  • As Kyle said, the yellow legs are confusing. It looks huge compared to the Sierran treefrog. It definitely has the eyestripe that the treefrogs have. The females are bigger than the males, but the size difference here seems large. I am puzzled by this one too. They do change color, so it’s possible that’s what’s happening here.

  • A herpetologist friend of mine says it’s just a different color morph. It is a Sierran treefrog. Interesting! Great photo, by the way!

  • I’m sending it off to my herp guy too, so we’ll see what he says as well. My observation has always been that the size difference between male and female Sierran Treefrogs wasn’t so radical. The female is always larger but this is really a big difference. Yup, same eye stripe but the angle and shape of the forehead of the female and that big old long toed and exceptionally webbed foot is totally throwing me off. I haven’t seen that color morph either.

    Hmmmm, again?

    And inter-species amplexus isn’t totally unheard of. No offspring come of the temporary wrestling match.

  • My go to herptologist is also saying he thinks they are both Sierran Treefrogs. But the big webbed foot also has him wondering? It could just be some algae changing the way it looks?

    So given Kim’s herp friend call and my herp guy’s 2cents, they are most likely the same species. Something learned too.

  • One of the things that seems to me about a lot of the tree frogs that are Round Here is that it takes a long time for the eggs and the tadpoles to turn into frogs and a lot of the ponds dry up before they can transition they are a marker of how the ecosystem is doing According to some I try to keep a few frog ponds going every year so I say cheers to the Frog lovers live and make more live for the restoration of the planet my sister does a monarch butterfly milkweed Hatchery down South seems to do pretty well also sometimes if you start small doing something that’s good big things can happen perhaps just a smile

    • Do small things with great love — sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a difference in helping out wildlife 🙂 I get a bit crazy when people think that they need city park like appearances to their surroundings and not understanding fractured habitat and how sterile and detrimental their “tidy” habits are killing habitat and creatures: spraying herbicides, mowing vegetation down to a nubbin, filling in/draining vernal pools, etc. Leave those leaves to compost, plant flowers/herbs for bees, butterflies, birds or your favourite little critter, create a small habitat if even just a flower pot or a bird bath!The rewards are many!! Don’t know how; go on line. There are many blogs, articles, clubs and what-nots out there to encourage and guide if you don’t know where to start. If you have kids or elderly in care, this is a great project that they can assist/manage on an appropriate scale. Sorry! Didn’t mean to preach; this is just something near and dear to my heart.

  • Could be a case of:
    “Getinus Wherinus Youfitinus..”
    It is rare, as stated earlier in this thread but not unheard of especially in dry years and of course after midnight.. im intrested to see what the experts say..
    Great photo, thanks everyone..

  • hello this is vanessa a herpitologist with California Reptorium. Humboldt counties local reptile education….
    although the color morph is interesting, i have to agree with the rest of the comments above. They look like pacific/Sierran Treefrogs. They can change their color depending on their environment, as well as when they want to hide. In my experience higher temperatures means that they are more yellow and green lower temperatures turn darker and sometimes red.
    Just a friendly reminder to please not take amphibians or other animals out of the wild.
    thank you

  • I love frogs!

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