Northern variety is found from eastern Manitoba in Canada south to Texas and east to the Atlantic coast. Southern sub-species is found only in northern Florida and southern Georgia.
Wetlands, marshes, ponds and swamps, vernal pools
The adult spring peeper is little more than an inch long. The general color is a brownish or grayish green, with a dark stripe on the sides of the head. Dark markings on the back form a sort of X, though it’s not always clearly defined. Spring peepers are commonly heard but not seen. During the spring mating season, thousands of males might be heard, each calling to prospective mates with a shrill, continuously repeated “peep.” The full chorus can be heard for more than a mile.
The spring peeper’s diet is made up largely of small insects, such as ants, beetles, and moth larvae. It will also feed on other small, soft-bodied invertebrates, including spiders and water midges.
During the winter, peepers hibernate beneath loose bark or logs. The water in their bodies can actually freeze without harming them. They emerge from hibernation as early as March to begin mating. The female lays between 800 and 1,000 eggs, singly or in small groups, on leaf litter or twigs at the bottom of a pond. The tadpoles hatch within 6 to 12 days. After about two months, they have metamorphosed into adult frog form, about a half-inch in length, and they reach adult size within another month or so. Spring peepers are believed to have an average life span of about three years.
Did You Know?
On Martha’s Vineyard, peepers are commonly called “pinkletinks”.