Pseudacris ornata - (Holbrook, 1836)
Ornate Chorus Frog
Other English Common Names: ornate chorus frog
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pseudacris ornata (Holbrook, 1836) (TSN 173531)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105957
Element Code: AAABC05050
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 ornata
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: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Jan2014
Global Status Last Changed: 22Jan2014
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Broad range but some evidence of decline, at least in peninsular Florida.
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), Florida (S2S3), Georgia (S5), Louisiana (SH), Mississippi (S1), North Carolina (S2), South Carolina (SNR)

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: Range includes the Coastal Plain from North Carolina to central Florida (at least formerly), and west to southeastern Louisiana (Conant and Collins 1991).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range.

Population Size Comments: At least formerly was locally common in Florida (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999), though this may no longer be true at many formerly occupied sites (Krysko et al., 2011).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Florida peninsular populations have declined since 1990, susceptibility to drought being suggested as a possible cause (Krysko et al., 2011).

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Range includes the Coastal Plain from North Carolina to central Florida (at least formerly), and west to southeastern Louisiana (Conant and Collins 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, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC

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)
LA Orleans (22071)*, St. Tammany (22103)*
MS Forrest (28035)*, Greene (28041)*, Hancock (28045)*, Harrison (28047)*, Perry (28111)
NC Beaufort (37013)*, Bladen (37017), Brunswick (37019)*, Carteret (37031), Craven (37049), Cumberland (37051), Hoke (37093), New Hanover (37129)*, Onslow (37133), Robeson (37155), Sampson (37163), Scotland (37165)
SC Marlboro (45069)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Pamlico (03020104)+*, Lower Neuse (03020204)+, White Oak River (03020301)+, New River (03020302)+, Upper Cape Fear (03030004)+, Lower Cape Fear (03030005)+, Black (03030006)+, Northeast Cape Fear (03030007)+*, Lumber (03040203)+, Little Pee Dee (03040204)+, Coastal Carolina (03040208)+*, Lower Chickasawhay (03170003)+*, Lower Leaf (03170005)+*, Black (03170007)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+*, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+*
08 Liberty Bayou-Tchefuncta (08090201)+*, Lake Pontchartrain (08090202)+*, Eastern Louisiana Coastal (08090203)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: In adults, each eye is crossed by a black masklike stripe that may extend along the side of the body. The sides of the body and area near the groin have distinct light-bordered black spots. The groin is yellow. The upper side of these frogs is often reddish brown, ranging from blackish to silvery white. Maximum size is about 1.5 inches (3.9 cm) snout-vent length. Juveniles have a less distinct pattern than do adults. Breeding males have a dark throat. The breeding call is a series of high peeps (1-1.5 peeps per second). Larvae have a very high tail fin that begins just behind the eyes, and there is often a gold or brassy stripe along each side of the back. Larvae are up to about 1.7 inches (4.3 cm) long.
Reproduction Comments: Clusters of up to about 100 eggs (usually a few dozen) are laid from late fall to early spring (peak usually in winter). Larvae hatch in about a week and metamorphose into small frogs about 3-4 months later. Individuals become sexually mature in 1 year in South Carolina (Caldwell 1987). Little or no recruitment occurs during drought periods (Pechmann et al. 1991).
Ecology Comments: As is true of many amphibians, the breeding characteristics of ornate chorus frogs are fairly well documented, but their habits in nonbreeding upland habitats are poorly known.

Population turnover nearly annual in South Carolina (Caldwell 1987).

Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates between breeding pools and nonbreeding terrestrial habitats.
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Savanna, Woodland - Conifer
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Ornate chorus frogs inhabit sandhills, pine flatwoods, upland pine forests, and other habitats up to at least several hundred meters from breeding pools. They burrow into the ground (often among herbaceous plant roots) when not active on the surface. Adults are seldom observed except when breeding. Eggs are attached to plant stems in flooded fields, sinkhole ponds, pine barren ponds, Carolina bays, and cypress ponds.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Metamorphosed frogs eat various small terrestrial invertebrates. Larvae eat organic debris, algae, and plant tissue.
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Seldom observed except when breeding.
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: 22Jan2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jackson, D. R. (2014); Hammerson, G. (2010)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 25Jan2010
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
Help
  • 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.

  • CONANT, R., AND J.T. COLLINS. 1991. A FIELD GUIDE TO REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS, EASTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA, THIRD ED. HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. 450 PP.

  • Caldwell, J. P. 1987. Demography and life history of two species of chorus frogs (Anura: Hylidae) in South Carolina. Copeia 1987:114-127.

  • Chandler, H. C., T. A. Gorman, and C. A. Haas.  2016. The effects of crayfish predation and vegetation cover on tadpole growth, survival, and nonlethal injury.  Journal of Herpetology 50(2):271-277.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • Krysko, K. L., K. M. Enge, and P. E. Moler. 2011. Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Florida. Final report to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida. Submitted 15 December 2011.

  • Krysko, K. L., K. M. Enge, and P. E. Moler. 2011. Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Florida. Final report to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida. Submitted 15 December 2011.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Pechmann, J.H.K., D.E. Scott, R.D. Semlitsch, J.P. Caldwell, L J. Vitt, and J.W. Gibbons. 1991. Declining amphibian populations: the problem of separating human impacts from natural fluctuations. Science 253:892-895.

  • SEYLE, C. W. JR., AND S. E. TRAUTH. 1982. LIFE HISTORY NOTES: PSEUDACRIS ORNATA. REPRODUCTION. HERP. REV., 13(2):45.

  • SEYLE, W., AND G. K. WILLIAMSON. 1988 (IN PREP). REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS OF GEORGIA: RANGE MAPS

  • 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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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
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