Pseudacris brachyphona - (Cope, 1889)
Mountain Chorus Frog
Other English Common Names: mountain chorus frog
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pseudacris brachyphona (Cope, 1889) (TSN 173528)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104655
Element Code: AAABC05010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Hylidae Pseudacris
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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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: Pseudacris brachyphona
Taxonomic Comments: A molecular phylogeny of Pseudacris based on mtDNA data (Moriarty and Cannatella 2004) revealed four strongly supported clades within Pseudacris: (1) A West Coast Clade containing regilla and cadaverina, (2) a Fat Frog Clade including ornata, streckeri, and illinoensis, (3) a Crucifer Clade consisting of crucifer and ocularis, and (4) a Trilling Frog Clade containing all other Pseudacris. Within the Trilling Frog Clade, brimleyi and brachyphona form the sister group to the Nigrita Clade: nigrita, feriarum, triseriata, kalmi, clarkii, and maculata. The Nigrita Clade shows geographic division into three clades: (1) populations of maculata and triseriata west of the Mississippi River and Canadian populations, (2) southeastern United States populations of feriarum and nigrita, and (3) northeastern United States populations of feriarum, kalmi, and triseriata. Current taxonomy does not reflect the phylogenetic relationships among populations of the Nigrita Clade (Moriarty and Canatella 2004). For example, the molecular data appear to indicate that triseriata, maculata, and clarkii in the western United States are conspecific, but the authors indicated that further sampling and analysis of the Trilling Frog Clade are needed before their relationships can be determined and an appropriate taxonomy established. Moriarty and Cannatella (2004) found that subspecific epithets for crucifer (crucifer and bartramiana) and nigrita (nigrita and verrucosa) are uninformative, and they therefore discouraged recognition of these subspecies. They concluded that further study is needed to determine if illinoensis warrants status as a distinct species. Molecular data were consistent with retention of regilla, cadaverina, ocularis, and crucifer in the genus Pseudacris.

See Cocroft (1994) for a cladistic analysis of chorus frog phylogeny based on a combination of published morphological, biochemical, and behavioral data sets.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01Apr2002
Global Status Last Changed: 13Nov2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S5), Georgia (S2), Kentucky (S5), Maryland (S1), Mississippi (S3), North Carolina (S2), Ohio (SNR), Pennsylvania (S1), Tennessee (S4), Virginia (S4), West Virginia (S4)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Discontinuously distributed from western Pennsylvania southwest to northeastern Mississippi, central Alabama, and Georgia (Conant and Collins 1991). Recently reconfirmed as extant in North Carolina (Floyd and Kilpatrick 2002). Ranges to elevations of at least 3,500 ft (1,100 m) (Conant and Collins 1991).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: Historically represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range, but number of extant occurrences is unknown.

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: Status is poorly known. Hulse et al. (2001) mapped 28 locations at the northern extent of the range in Pennsylvania but stated that all of these are historical records; "no specimens have been reported in the past 20 years or so."

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Discontinuously distributed from western Pennsylvania southwest to northeastern Mississippi, central Alabama, and Georgia (Conant and Collins 1991). Recently reconfirmed as extant in North Carolina (Floyd and Kilpatrick 2002). Ranges to elevations of at least 3,500 ft (1,100 m) (Conant and Collins 1991).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV

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)
GA Bartow (13015), Cherokee (13057), Dawson (13085), Douglas (13097), Fannin (13111)*, Gilmer (13123), Gordon (13129), Lumpkin (13187)*, Murray (13213), Paulding (13223), Union (13291)*, Walker (13295)
MD Allegany (24001)*, Garrett (24023)
MS Itawamba (28057), Prentiss (28117), Tishomingo (28141)
NC Cherokee (37039), Clay (37043)
PA Greene (42059), Washington (42125)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 North Branch Potomac (02070002)+
03 Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding (03130002)+, Conasauga (03150101)+, Coosawattee (03150102)+, Etowah (03150104)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+, Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+
05 Lower Monongahela (05020005)+, Youghiogheny (05020006)+*, Upper Ohio-Wheeling (05030106)+
06 Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Hiwassee (06020002)+, Ocoee (06020003)+*, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+, Bear (06030006)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of about 1000 eggs (distributed among small clusters), usually late winter or early spring but also during rainy weather in summer. Eggs hatch in 3-4 days. Larvae metamorphose in 4-9 weeks (7-9 weeks in West Virginia, Green and Pauley 1987).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates between breeding pools and nonbreeding terrestrial habitats.
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Woodland - Hardwood
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Wooded hilly areas. Terrestrial. Probably hides under objects or underground when inactive. Eggs and larvae develop in pools in or adjacent to woods: spring pools, flooded ditches, pools along streams, woodland ponds. Eggs are attached to leaves, sticks, or other vegetation in water.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Metamorphosed frogs eat various small invertebrates obtained on the ground. Larvae eat organic debris, algae, and plant tissue.
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Primarily nocturnal but also diurnal, especially when breeding. Inactive during coldest months in north.
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 4 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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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
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Apr2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Aug1995
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).

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

  • Cocroft, R. B. 1994. A cladistic analysis of chorus frog phylogeny (Hylidae: Pseudacris). Herpetologica 50:420-437.

  • Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xvii + 429 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.

  • Floyd, T. M., and E. S. Kilpatrick. 2002. Pseudacris brachyphona (mountain chorus frog): verification of historical occurrence. Herpetological Review 33:48.

  • 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.

  • Green, N. B., and T. K. Pauley. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia. University of Pittsburg Press, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. xi + 241 pp.

  • Hoffman, R.L. 1980. Pseudacris brachyphona. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 234:1-2.

  • Lemmon, E. M., A. R. Lemmon, J. T. Collins, J. A. Lee-Yaw, and D. C. Cannatella. 2007. Phylogeny-based delimitation of species boundaries and contact zones in the trilling chorus frogs (Pseudacris). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 44:1068-1082.

  • 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.

  • Moriarty, E. C., and D. C. Cannatella. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships of the North American chorus frogs (Pseudacris: Hylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 30:409-420.

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

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

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