Pseudacris maculata - (Agassiz, 1850)
Boreal Chorus Frog
Other English Common Names: boreal chorus frog
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pseudacris maculata (Agassiz, 1850) (TSN 207312)
French Common Names: rainette faux-grillon boréale
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.806592
Element Code: AAABC05130
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: 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.
Concept Reference Code: A07LEM01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Pseudacris maculata
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. 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.

Using mtDNA samples from a large number of localities throughout North America, Lemmon et al. (2007) elucidated the phylogenetic relationships and established the geographic ranges of the trilling chorus frogs (Pseudacris). They redefined the ranges of several taxa, including P. maculata, P. triseriata, and P. feriarum; found strong evidence for recognizing P. kalmi as a distinct species; and discovered a previously undetected species in the south-central United States (to be described in a forthcoming publication). Based on mtDNA data, Pseudacris maculata and P. clarkii did not emerge as distinct, monophyletic lineages but, given the degree of morphological and behavioral divergence between the taxa, Lemmon et al. (2007) chose to recognize them as separate species, until further data suggest otherwise.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Aug2017
Global Status Last Changed: 15Aug1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (01Jun1999)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (02Aug2017)

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 Arizona (S5), Colorado (S5), Idaho (S4), Illinois (S5), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S4), Kansas (S5), Michigan (S1), Minnesota (S5), Missouri (S5), Montana (S4), Navajo Nation (S4), Nebraska (S5), New Mexico (S3), New York (S2S3), North Dakota (SNR), Oklahoma (SNR), South Dakota (S5), Utah (S4), Vermont (S1), Wisconsin (S5), Wyoming (S5)
Canada Alberta (S5), British Columbia (S4S5), Manitoba (S5), Northwest Territories (S4S5), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S2), Saskatchewan (S5), Yukon Territory (S1S2)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (Low) (10Jul2017)
Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):PS:T
Comments on COSEWIC: The species was considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in May 2001. Split into two populations in April 2008. The Great Lakes / St. Lawrence - Canadian Shield population was designated Threatened in April 2008.
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes large areas of Canada and the western and north-central United States from the Great Bear Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories to northern Ontario, southward to Arizona, New Mexico, northern Oklahoma, Missouri (possibly northern Arkansas), and Illinois; disjunctly also in southern Ontario, southern Quebec, northern New York, and northwestern Vermont (Conant and Collins 1991, Stebbins 2003, Lemmon et al. 2007). Elevational range extends to above 12,000 feet (3,670 meters) in Colorado and Utah (Hammerson 1999, Stebbins 2003).

Area of Occupancy: >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000 and presumably exceeds 1,000,000.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Many occurrences have good viability.

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known, but locally some populations probably are declining as a result of conversion of habitat to intensive human uses.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Current trend is not well documented, but area of occupany, number of subpopulations, and population size probably are declining at a rate of less than 10 percent over 10 years or three generations.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Area of occupany, number of subpopulations, and population size probably have declined somewhat over the long term, especially in the southeastern portion of the range where habitat change has been most extensive, but the extent of decline may not exceed 25 percent.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Range includes large areas of Canada and the western and north-central United States from the Great Bear Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories to northern Ontario, southward to Arizona, New Mexico, northern Oklahoma, Missouri (possibly northern Arkansas), and Illinois; disjunctly also in southern Ontario, southern Quebec, northern New York, and northwestern Vermont (Conant and Collins 1991, Stebbins 2003, Lemmon et al. 2007). Elevational range extends to above 12,000 feet (3,670 meters) in Colorado and Utah (Hammerson 1999, Stebbins 2003).

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CO, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NM, NN, NY, OK, SD, UT, VT, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, MB, NT, ON, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Benton (05007)
AZ Apache (04001), Coconino (04005)
MI Keweenaw (26083)*
NM Cibola (35006), Colfax (35007), Mckinley (35031), Mora (35033), Rio Arriba (35039), San Juan (35045), Sandoval (35043)
VT Grand Isle (50013)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Lake Superior (04020300)+*, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
11 Elk (11070208)+, Canadian headwaters (11080001)+, Cimarron (11080002)+, Upper Canadian (11080003)+, Mora (11080004)+
13 Conejos (13010005)+, Rio Chama (13020102)+, Jemez (13020202)+, Rio San Jose (13020207)+
14 Upper San Juan (14080101)+, Middle San Juan (14080105)+, Chaco (14080106)+, Chinle (14080204)+
15 Zuni (15020004)+, Upper Puerco (15020006)+, Canyon Diablo (15020015)+*, Lower Little Colorado (15020016)+*, Upper Verde (15060202)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small frog.
General Description: Boreal chorus frogs have a dark stripe or mask through each eye from the snout to the groin. The upper side is beautifully variable--green, brown, reddish, or reddish and green, with green or brown stripes or spots. The hind toes are not distinctly webbed. Maximum snout-vent length is about 1.5 inches (37 mm). The throat skin of mature males is loose and yellowish or dark during breeding season. The expanded vocal sac is evenly rounded or slightly flattened. The breeding call is a stuttering preeep that ascends in pitch. Larvae are olive to blackish, with a tall tail fin that is strongly arched and finely stippled or squiggled with brown. When viewed from above, the eyes of larvae are at the outside margin of the head. The coiled gut is more or less visible through the pale golden belly skin. Larvae grow to a maximum total length of about 2 inches (52 mm, usually 35-38 mm). Eggs are pigmented over more than one-half of the upper surface; the pigmentation is heaviest at high elevations. Egg diamter is 0.76-1.32 mm, and is larger at higher elevations than in lowlands. Eggs are deposited in loose, irregular or elongate clusters of a few to more than 150. Source: Hammerson (1999).
Reproduction Comments: In lowland areas, males usually begin calling in late March or April, usually when air temperature is above 10?C. Chorusing continues through spring and early summer. By early to late June calling may come to a temporary halt, only to begin again in June, July, or even August after heavy rains or when fields are flooded with irrigation water. In the Great Plains region of Colorado, most egg laying occurs in April, May, and June. At high elevations, breeding begins immediately after the spring thaw in late May or early June and may continue into July. Calling (but not egg laying) commonly occurs through late August at high mountain breeding sites and in adjacent meadows. Some of the males calling in August appear to be young of the year.

Each female may lay several egg clusters. Hatching may occur within a few days or up to about a week after laying.

Metamorphosis occurs as early as early June in lowland areas and primarily during July and August, sometimes as late as early September, in the mountains. Young usually leave the water before the tail is fully resorbed.

Breeding populations at low elevations are composed only of individuals that hatched the previous year. At higher elevations males do not breed until they are about two years old, females not until three years old.

Ecology Comments: Tiny clams sometimes have been found attached to the toes of boreal chorus frogs. The frogs may serve as dispersal agents for the clams, which are restricted to waters and cannot move very far on their own. The frogs might even rarely move the clams from one body of water to another.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Grassland/herbaceous, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Habitat is mostly the vicinity of quiet bodies of water and associated wetlands and meadows; sometimes these frogs cross up to a few hundred meters of upland habitat between wetlands, and they may overwinter in upland sites adjacent to wetlands; periods of inactivity may be spent in water, among thick wetland vegetation, under objects on the ground, or in rodent burrows (Hammerson 1999). Chorus frogs breed in marshes, rain pools, pools formed by melting snow, bog ponds, glacial kettle ponds, beaver ponds, marshy edges of lakes and reservoirs, flooded areas, and other bodies of water with little or no current (Hammerson 1999). Both permanent and temporary waters are used, and eggs commonly are laid in ponds that dry up before the tadpoles metamorphose. Eggs usually are attached to vegetation in shallow water.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Adult Phenology: Circadian, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Circadian, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Emergence from wintering sites typically occurs in March in lowland areas. Activity extends into September and October, and some individuals remain active into November, even after cold spells. In general, these frogs tend to be relatively inconspicuous in lowland areas in summer. Spring emergence in the mountains may not occur until May. Chorus frogs at high elevations sometimes remain active even after September snowstorms but in other places or years may disappear by mid-September even if warm weather continues. In the mountains, most activity occurs between late morning and mid-afternoon, though calling activity may extend late into the night during the breeding season. Activity in lowland areas tends to be diurnal in early spring and fall, nocturnal or crepuscular during warm spring and summer weather.
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: 26May2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 26Jan2010
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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Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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