Visitor from Quebec meets a Manitoulin grey tree frog

Thomas Shorthouse gets a close look at a gray treefrog found resting on a trailer at Batmans Campground near Sheguiandah.

by Joe Shorthouse

MANITOULIN—Tree frogs are common on Manitoulin Island but are rarely seen outside the breeding season. The skin of these frogs provides excellent camouflage against bark and lichens.

Tree frogs have large suction-like toe pads which help them cling to trees. During the day, these frogs remain in trees around shallow woodland ponds and marshes. Males call from trees and then enter ponds after finding a mate.

Females lay up to 2,000 eggs in small clusters of 10 to 40. The eggs hatch within five to seven days, and the tadpoles metamorphose between 40 and 60 days after hatching.

When not active, gray tree frogs hide in tree holes, under bark, in rotting logs, and under leaves and tree roots. They overwinter under leaf litter and snow cover. Gray tree frogs are not an endangered species, but they are dependent upon forests.