Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Species: Hyla chrysoscelis
Family: Hylidae
Order: Anura
Status: Native to Central Texas and the eastern half of the U.S.

Copes Gray Treefrog 15-5-24 (1).jpg

Camouflaged on a sunflower plant in front of our house. May 24, 2015.

This was the one and only time I encountered an opportunity to photograph this tiny frog species. I didn’t notice it in the course of walking past the plant and occasionally glancing over. It wasn’t until I took a moment to closely study several of these plants for insect activity (photo opportunities) that I was able to detect the presence of two of these frogs, this one sitting on a small leaf, and the other sitting on a large leaf (pictured below). So, they certainly do camouflage themselves well.

Copes Gray Treefrog 15-5-24 (6).jpg

A 2nd treefrog on a bigger leaf. May 24, 2015.

I’ve since learned that there is another species of treefrog, called Gray Treefrog, almost indistinguishable from this one, both sharing the same range of habitat. There is no sure way for a non-expert like me to tell the difference between the two except through listening to their call. I played an audio for each of the two and definitely recognized the sound of the Cope’s Gray Treefrog, but not that of the Gray Treefrog. Although I can’t be 100% certain, it’s very likely that this ID is correct, especially since Cope’s is more common to this part of the shared geographical range than Gray’s.

Copes Gray Treefrog 15-5-24 (9).jpg

Frog 2, view from above. May 24, 2015.

I have no intention to handle this species, but I read that their skin secretions can be toxic to the eyes, lips, nose, open cuts or abrasions. As much as possible, I like to only observe the various species of animals, herps and insects I encounter and just let them live their lives.

Copes Gray Treefrog 15-5-24 (16).jpg

Frog 1, another angle. May 24, 2015.

In the photos, it seems like they are more easy to see than they really are, but they are easy to see only after knowing they are there.

Copes Gray Treefrog 15-5-24 (22).jpg

Frog 1, view from above. May 24, 2015.

Resources For More Information On This Species

Savannah River Ecology Lab (

PBS’s Wildlife Journal Junior (

Wikipedia (


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