- Baird, 1854
Northern Cricket Frog
Other English Common Names: northern cricket frog
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s):
Acris crepitans Baird, 1854 (TSN 173520)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.828419
Element Code: AAABC01030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates
- Frogs and Toads
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference: Gamble, T., P. B. Berendzen, H. B. Shaffer, D. E. Starkey, and A. M. Simons. 2008. Species limits and phylogeography of North American cricket frogs (Acris: Hylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48:112-125.
Concept Reference Code: A08GAM01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Acris crepitans
Taxonomic Comments: Based on patterns of morphological variation, "Acris crepitans blanchardi" does not appear to be a valid taxon (McCallum and Trauth 2006). According to Crother (2008), "Two nominal subspecies have not been formally rejected though they are infrequently recognized. Whether these represent arbitrary or historical units is unknown and this requires further investigation." In contrast, a phylogeographic analysis by Gamble et al. (2008), based on mtDNA and nDNA, found that "existing A. crepitans subspecies, defined by morphology and call types, do not match the distributions of evolutionary lineages recovered using...genetic data." Gamble et al. revised the distributions of blanchardi and crepitans in the south-central part of their combined ranges and recognized A. blanchardi and A. crepitans as distinct species. This change was adopted by Frost (Amphibian Species of the World website) and Collins and Taggart (2009).
Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19May2009
Global Status Last Changed: 28Sep2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread and common in much of eastern North America.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5
U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Alabama (S5), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (S3), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S5), Maryland (S5), Mississippi (S5), New Jersey (S4), New York (S1), North Carolina (S5), Pennsylvania (S1), South Carolina (S5), Tennessee (S5), Virginia (S4), West Virginia (S2)
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors
Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range extends from southeastern New York and Pennsylvania southward through New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware eastern West Virginia, eastern Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, western Florida, and part of eastern Louisiana; distribution is east of the Mississippi River and south of the Ohio River (Gamble et al. 2008).
Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range.
Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely is at least several 100,000s. This frog is common in many areas.
Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)
Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: This frog appears to be relatively stable and common in most of its range.
Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Likely relatively stable in extent of occurrence, probably less than 25% decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.
Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information
(200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles))
Range extends from southeastern New York and Pennsylvania southward through New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware eastern West Virginia, eastern Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, western Florida, and part of eastern Louisiana; distribution is east of the Mississippi River and south of the Ohio River (Gamble et al. 2008).
U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Range MapNo map available.
U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
U.S. Distribution by County
||County Name (FIPS Code)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed
||Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+*,
Northern Long Island (02030201)+*,
Southern Long Island (02030202)+*,
Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+,
Lower Delaware (02040202)+*,
Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107)+,
Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+*,
Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+*,
South Branch Potomac (02070001)+*,
North Branch Potomac (02070002)+*,
Upper Broad (03050105)+*,
Lower Allegheny (05010009)+*,
Lower Monongahela (05020005)+*,
Upper Ohio (05030101)+*,
Lower Kanawha (05050008)+*,
Lower Guyandotte (05070102)+*,
Big Sandy (05070204)+*,
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: A small frog.
Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of up to a few hundred eggs in spring or summer, breeding earlier in south than in north. Aquatic larvae metamorphose in summer. Sexually mature in first year.
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND, TEMPORARY POOL
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: This species inhabits the edges of sunny marshes, marshy ponds, and small slow-moving streams in open country. It may periodically range into adjacent nonwetland habitats in some regions. Eggs and larvae develop in the shallow water of ponds, marshes, ditches, slow streams, springs, or rain pools. Hibernation sites are underground on land near water; may hibernate communally (e.g., McCallum and Trauth 2003).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Metamorphosed frogs eat various small invertebrates obtained near or in water. Larvae eat suspended matter, organic debris, algae, and plant tissue.
Adult Phenology: Circadian, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Circadian, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Inactive during coldest months in north and at higher elevations, active throughout the year in areas with mild winter weather. Diurnal during cool weather, active day and night in warmer months.
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 4 centimeters
Not yet assessed
Not yet assessed
Group Name: Hylid Frogs (Treefrogs)
Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy major highway such that frogs rarely if ever cross successfully; intensive urban development dominated by buildings and pavement and lacking suitable vegetated frog refuges.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Available information is limited but indicates that hylids generally exhibit limited movements on a short-term basis. In New Jersey, Freda and Morin (1984) and Freda and Gonzalez (1986) demonstrated that individual Hyla andersonii often travel distances of 100 m from breeding ponds during the nonbreeding season. In montane Colorado, Spencer (1964) found that Pseudacris triseriata range into wet meadows usually within about 700 m of their breeding sites and sometimes cross a few hundred meters of upland habitat. Kay (1989) determined that most Pseudacris cadaverina individuals range over small segments of streamcourse; 83 percent of movements were less than 25 m in a 1-year study. In Michigan, nonbreeding home range diameters of Pseudacris crucifer, established around forest debris and vegetation, ranged from 1.2 to 5.5 m (Delzell 1958).
Based on this information it appears that 1 km is an appropriate separation distance for unsuitable habitat. Despite limited data suggesting restricted movements, dispersal data are scant, and these frogs are clearly physically capable of long moves. It seems unlikely that occupied locations separated by a gap of less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent occurrences over the long term.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Inferred extent distance pertains to distance from breeding sites.
Author: Hammerson, G.
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 19May2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 19May2009
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.
Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of
natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).
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- Gamble, T., P. B. Berendzen, H. B. Shaffer, D. E. Starkey, and A. M. Simons. 2008. Species limits and phylogeography of North American cricket frogs (Acris: Hylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48:112-125.
- Green, N. B., and T. K. Pauley. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia. University of Pittsburg Press, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. xi + 241 pp.
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- Johnson, Bruce K. and James L. Christiansen. 1976. The food and food habits of Blanchard's cricket frog, Acris crepitans blanchardi (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae), in Iowa. J. Herpetologica. 10(2):63-74.
- Jung, R. E. 1992. Blanchard's cricket frogs (ACRIS CREPITANS BLANCHARDI) in southwest Wisconsin. Abstract, 6th Annual Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology, p. 140.
- McCallum, M. L., and S. E. Trauth. 2006. An evaluation of the subspecies Acris crepitans blanchardi (Anura, Hylidae). Zootaxa (1104):1-21.
- Minton, S. A., Jr. 1972. Amphibians and reptiles of Indiana. Indiana Academy Science Monographs 3. v + 346 pp.
- Mount, R. H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pp.
- Vogt, R. C. 1981. Natural history of amphibians and reptiles of Wisconsin. Milwaukee Public Museum. 205 pp.
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