Dryophytes avivoca - (Viosca, 1928)
Bird-voiced Treefrog
Other English Common Names: bird-voiced treefrog
Synonym(s): Hyla avivoca Viosca, 1928
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Hyla avivoca Viosca, 1928 (TSN 173511)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.106363
Element Code: AAABC02030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Hylidae Dryophytes
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Hyla avivoca
Taxonomic Comments: Duellman et al. (2016) removed this species from the genus Hyla and included it (and all other U.S./Canada species of Hyla, as well as additional Hyla species in Mexico, Guatemala, and eastern Asia) in the genus Dryophytes (previously recognized as a subgenus).

Nominal subspecies generally are not recognized in recent literature.
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01Apr2002
Global Status Last Changed: 14Aug2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Moderately widespread in southeastern United States; locally abundant; apparently stable range and abundance in most areas; not threatened in most of range.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S3), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S4), Illinois (S3), Kentucky (S3), Louisiana (S5), Mississippi (S5), Oklahoma (S2), South Carolina (S5), Tennessee (S5)

Other Statuses

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: Southern Illinois and western Kentucky to Gulf Coast, Louisiana to Florida Panhandle, eastern Georgia, and adjacent South Carolina; west of the Mississippi River, occurs disjunctly in central and northern Louisiana, southeastern Oklahoma and adjacent southwestern Arkansas, and central Arkansas (Conant and Collons 1991).

Area of Occupancy: Unknown 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Ashton and Ashton (1988) recorded occurrences in 10 counties through the species' range in western Florida. Moler (1992) did not include this species in his review of the rare and endangered herpetofauna of Florida, suggesting an ample number of occurrences. Dundee and Rossman (1989) mapped about 65 locations in Louisiana, where the species appears to be widespread east of the Mississippi River. Widespread in the Coastal Plain in southern and western Alabama, where Mount (1975) mapped 36 collection sites. Occurs in suitable habitats throughout Mississippi (Ferguson 1961, see also Smith 1966). Redmond and Scott (1996) mapped 14 locations in Tennessee. In Illinois, recently known from 4 counties, with one additional pre-1980 county occurrence (Phillips et al. 1999). During 1992-2000, 7 new county records (3 in Georgia, 2 in Louisiana, 1 each in Tennessee and Florida) were published in Herpetological Review, suggesting that the distribution is fairly well known but still not completely documented.

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000 adults. Most state herpetology accounts mention the existence of large populations. In South Carolina, Gibbons and Semlitsch (1991) noted "large choruses" in three locations on the Savannah River Site, plus additional smaller populations. Bartlett and Bartlett (1999) rated this species as common to abundant in Florida. Barbour (1971) noted the occurrence of a "magnificant population" in some of the swamps in Hickman County, Kentucky. Redmond and Scott (1996) stated that this species is especially abundant around Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee. "Locally common in some good habitats" in the limited range in extreme southern Illinois (Phillips et al. 1999). Abundant in floodplain swamps in western Union and Alexander counties, Illinois (Smith 1961:87.)

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: The number of viable occurrences is not known but surely exceeds 40 by an ample margin.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Swampy habitat protects the species from many threats deriving from habitat alteration, but threats include clearing and draining of baldcypress-tupelo swamps (Phillips et al. 1999).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Apparently stable; no evidence of a decline in recent decades.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable
Long-term Trend Comments: Likely relatively stable in extent of occurrence, unknown degree of decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Southern Illinois and western Kentucky to Gulf Coast, Louisiana to Florida Panhandle, eastern Georgia, and adjacent South Carolina; west of the Mississippi River, occurs disjunctly in central and northern Louisiana, southeastern Oklahoma and adjacent southwestern Arkansas, and central Arkansas (Conant and Collons 1991).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MS, OK, SC, TN

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Calhoun (05013), Clark (05019), Conway (05029), Dallas (05039), Faulkner (05045), Grant (05053), Hempstead (05057), Hot Spring (05059), Lafayette (05073), Little River (05081), Monroe (05095), Nevada (05099), Ouachita (05103), Perry (05105), Phillips (05107), Pike (05109), Pope (05115), Pulaski (05119), Saline (05125), Sevier (05133), Union (05139), Yell (05149)
IL Alexander (17003), Jackson (17077), Johnson (17087), Massac (17127), Pope (17151), Pulaski (17153), Union (17181)
KY Ballard (21007)*, Butler (21031), Caldwell (21033), Christian (21047), Fulton (21075), Graves (21083), Henderson (21101), Hickman (21105), Hopkins (21107), Livingston (21139), Marshall (21157), McLean (21149), Muhlenberg (21177), Ohio (21183), Trigg (21221)*, Union (21225)
OK McCurtain (40089)
SC Aiken (45003)*, Barnwell (45011), Beaufort (45013)*, Hampton (45049)*, Jasper (45053)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Broad-St. Helena (03050208)+*, Middle Savannah (03060106)+, Lower Savannah (03060109)+, Calibogue Sound-Wright River (03060110)+*
05 Middle Green (05110003)+, Rough (05110004)+, Pond (05110006)+, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+*, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)+, Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)+, Tradewater (05140205)+, Lower Ohio (05140206)+
06 Lower Tennessee (06040006)+
07 Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)+, Big Muddy (07140106)+, Cache (07140108)+
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+*, Bayou De Chien-Mayfield (08010201)+, Obion (08010202)+, Big (08020304)+, Upper Ouachita (08040102)+, Little Missouri (08040103)+, Lower Ouachita-Smackover (08040201)+, Upper Saline (08040203)+
11 Lake Conway-Point Remove (11110203)+, Petit Jean (11110204)+, Fourche La Fave (11110206)+, Lower Arkansas-Maumelle (11110207)+, Pecan-Waterhole (11140106)+, Upper Little (11140107)+, Lower Little (11140109)+, Mckinney-Posten Bayous (11140201)+, Bodcau Bayou (11140205)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of several hundred eggs, distributed among small clusters, in spring or summer (peak toward end of May in South Carolina). Aquatic larvae hatch in a few days, metamorphose in about one month.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Fallen log/debris, Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Permanent wooded swamps (tupelo, cypress, birch, buttonbush, and vine tangles) bordering rivers and streams. May climb high into trees. Generally intolerant of impoundments that flood habitat. Males call from trees, shrubs, and vines that are in or next to water. Eggs and larvae develop in swamp pools.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Metamorphosed frogs probably eat various small arboreal arthropods. Larvae eat organic debris, algae, and plant tissue.
Adult Phenology: Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Seldom observed outside breeding period.
Length: 5 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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.
Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Apr2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Oct1993
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).

  • Ashton, R. E., Jr., and P. S. Ashton. 1988. Handbook of reptiles and amphibians of Florida. Part Three. The amphibians. Windward Publ. Co., Miami.

  • Barbour, R. W. 1971. Amphibians and reptiles of Kentucky. Univ. Press of Kentucky, Lexington. x + 334 pp.

  • Barbour, Roger W. 1971. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ken- tucky. UNIV. OF KY PRESS. 334 PP.

  • Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999b. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xvi + 278 pp.

  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Blackburn, L., P. Nanjappa, and M. J. Lannoo. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Copyright, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA.

  • Cliburn, J.W. 1976. A key to the amphibians and reptiles of Mississippi. Fourth edition. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, Mississippi. 71 pp.

  • Conant, R. and J. T. Collins. 1991. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. Third edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 450 pp.

  • Crother, B. I. (editor). 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37:1-84.

  • Duellman, W. E., A. B. Marion, and S. B. Hedges. 2016. Phylogenetics, classification, and biogeography of the treefrogs (Amphibia: Anura: Arboranae). Zootaxa 4104: 1?109.

  • Dundee, H.E., and D.A. Rossman. 1989. The amphibians and reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. 300 pp.

  • Endsley, J.R. 1954. An annotated listing of a herpetological collection mainly from Tennessee. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 29(1): 36-41.

  • Ferguson, D. E. 1961. The herpetofauna of Tishomingo County, Mississippi, with comments on its zoogeographic affinities. Copeia 1961:391-396.

  • Fouquette, M. J. Jr., and J. Delahoussaye. 1966. Noteworthy herpetological records from Louisiana. Southwestern Naturalist 11:137-139.

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 2002. Amphibian Species of the World: an online reference. V2.21 (15 July 2002). Electronic database available at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.html.

  • Gibbons, J. W., and R. D. Semlitsch. 1991. Guide to the reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Site. Univ. of Georgia Press, Athens. xii + 131 pp.

  • Herkert, Jim. 1998. Proposed additions, deletions, and changes to the Illinois List of Threatened and Endangered Animals. 101st ESPB Meeting, August 21, 1998. 16pp.

  • Lohoefener, R. and R. Altig. 1983. Mississippi herpetology. Mississippi State University Research Center, NSTL Station, Mississippi. 66 pp.

  • Martof, B. S., W. M. Palmer, J. R. Bailey, and J. R. Harrison, III. 1980. Amphibians and reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 264 pp.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., editor. 2004. Alabama Wildlife. Volume 1. A checklist of vertebrates and selected invertebrates: aquatic mollusks, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 209 pages.

  • Moler, P. E., editor. 1992. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume III. Amphibians and reptiles. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. xviii + 291 pp.

  • Mount, R. H. 1975. The reptiles and amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pp.

  • Phillips, C. A., R. A. Brandon, and E. O. Moll. 1999. Field guide to amphibians and reptiles of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Manual 8. xv + 282 pp.

  • Redmer, M., L. E. Brown, and R. A. Brandon. 1999. Natural history of the bird-voiced treefrog (HYLA AVIVOCA) and green treefrog (HYLA CINEREA) in southern Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 36(2).

  • Redmond, W.H. 1985. A Biogeographic Study of Amphibians in Tennessee. Ph.D. Dissertation, UT-Knoxville.



  • Smith, D. W. 1961. The amphibians and reptiles of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 28(1)1-298.

  • Smith, P. W. 1961. The amphibians and reptiles of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey 28:1-298.

  • Smith, P.W. 1966. Hyla avivova. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 28.1-28.2.

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  • Wright, A.H., and A.A. Wright. 1949. Handbook of frogs and toads of the United States and Canada. Third edition. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc., Ithaca, NY.

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