Cope's Grey Treefrog

Hyla chrysoscelis
Cope's Grey Treefrog

NPS Photo

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Genus: Hyla
  • Species: chrysoscelis

Skin rough and typically grayish or greenish in color but may be subject to variation, with several large blotches on back. Back seemingly warty, but warts not as prominent as the average Toad (Bufo). Light spot with dark edges beneath eye usually discernible. Large toe pads. Concealed surface of thighs bright yellow-orange mottled with black or gray. Call is a raspy one-pitched trill.


3.2 to 6 cm long (1 ¼" to 2 ½")

Similar Species

Gray Treefrog, Hyla versicolor, virtually indistinguishable except for call (slower- and lower-pitched trill). Bird-voiced Treefrog, Hyla avivoca, is smaller and concealed surfaces of the hind legs are green or yellowish-white instead of orange. May hybridize with Bird-voiced Treefrog. To distinguish between these two species visually, it is recommended that you let the frog rest quietly such that its colors change or the details of its pattern appear. Habitat includes woodland ponds and tree trunks.


Breeds April to August, sometimes also in winter in warmer parts of range.


Trees and shrubs that grow in or near permanent water sources. Rarely seen on the ground or at the edge of water except during breeding season.




Generically the call is described as like a musical trill, a resonant, flutelike trill or a sound similar to the call of a red-bellied woodpecker. However, the call of the call of this frog is faster and higher-pitched than that of the Gray Treefrog, Hyla versicolor. When heard calling concurrently, it may be possible to distinguish between the two species, otherwise making an audio recording and analyzing it in a lab may be necessary. Both species have slower trill rates when the weather is cooler.

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Last updated: March 11, 2019

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