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Home » Amphibians & Reptiles » Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper

Scientific name: Pseudacris crucifer

A sure sign of spring, the call of the peeper announces the commencement of the breeding season.  They emerge from their hibernation to begin the cycle of life anew.  As with birds, only the male makes calls. He may gather with a few others in a group to sing in a chorus. In this way they signal to the females their location, size and fitness. While they are very small, only an inch and a half and weighing about the same as a dime, they have some clever techniques to amplify their sound. For safety, they don’t spend much time in trees, except for calling. There they may sing into bark, leaves or other natural features to create a larger sound! Read more about how they sing, hear and mate in this interesting article.

If you ever see one, you will notice an X on their back. This is where part of its scientific name comes from, Pseudacris crucifer.

Male Spring Peeper
click to flip

Diet

The peeper enjoys all the various insects that it finds in the leaf litter (fallen leaves on the ground).

Habitat

Home is either permanent or temporary ponds or wetlands. They spend most of their time hiding in the leaves on the ground.

Life Cycle

The life if the peeper is short. But each female is capable of laying over a thousand eggs, so their population is secure. Once the eggs are laid, they are left on their own  to incubate. When they hatch a few days later, they are tadpoles. Within three months the tadpole becomes a frog.

Ecosystem Connections

The peeper is a food source for many other species including salamanders, snakes, birds, bats and even spiders.

More on Reptiles and Amphibians in Lewisboro