Pine Barrens treefrog: Hyla andersonii
Genus/Species: Hyla andersonii
Common Name: Pine Barrens treefrog
Federal Status: Not Listed
FL Status: State Species of Special Concern
FNAI Ranks: G4/S3 (Globally: Apparently Secure/State: Rare) IUCN Status: NT (Near Threatened)
The Pine Barrens treefrog is a small frog that has toepads to help it climb trees. This species can reach a length of up to 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001). Pine Barrens treefrogs have a pea-colored body that changes to a dark olive-green color when they are under certain conditions of stress and weather (Means 1992). They also have a brown band that reaches from their nostrils to their legs, a white belly, and yellow spots throughout the body (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).
The diet of the Pine Barrens tree frog consists of different types of insects. It will travel up to 345 feet (105 meters) from breeding sites to feed (Means 2005).
Male frogs can be heard calling from March to September in Florida, with tadpoles being found from May to August. Male frogs use calling to attract females for mating. Females will lay 200 or more eggs in one clutch, which hatch three to four days after being laid. Fertilization of the eggs takes place while the eggs are being laid, as the males will fertilize the eggs as they are released from the female. Tadpoles usually metamorphose (develop into a frog from a tadpole) in 50 to 75 days, with the treefrog maturing at 11 months of age (Means 2005, S. Bennett pers. comm. 2010).
Habitat and Distribution
The Pine Barrens treefrog inhabits seepage bog pools in the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, the New Jersey Pine Barrens (the species’ namesake), and the Fall Line sandhills of North and South Carolina (Means 2005). Seepage bog pools are acidic water pools with decayed vegetation caused by a subsurface water table or accumulated precipitation. This species has now been recorded from 177 sites in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Holmes counties (Endries et al. 2009).
Pine Barrens treefrogs are well adapted to acidic bogs. These bogs are low-nutrient ecosystems, which makes them vulnerable to changes in water chemistry, flow, and water table drawdowns (Means 2005, Bunnell and Ciraolo 2010). This species is also dependent on early succession fire-maintained habitats. Suppressing fire in the habitat causes woody plants to invade which results in increased evapotranspiration (evaporation of water from the land and release of water vapor from plants). Invasive vegetation, such as the Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum), is also a threat to the Pine Barrens treefrog because they degrade bog habitat by outcompeting endemic vegetation for the resources needed for survival (Jackson 2004). Feral hogs are widely distributed on Eglin Air Force Base, which threatens treefrogs as the hogs will degrade their habitat by rooting (digging up soil). The impending global climate change may be a threat to the Pine Barrens treefrog due to predicted longer drought periods, more severe storms and floods, less available fresh water, increasing temperatures, and sea level rise (Field et al. 2007). Other threats include disease and increased predation on larvae by bronze frogs (Rana clamitans clamitans), two-toed amphiumas (Amphiuma means), red salamanders (Pseudotriton ruber), banded pygmy sunfish (Elassoma zonatum), and turtles.
Conservation and Management
The Pine Barrens treefrog is protected as a State Species of Special Concern by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.
-Biological Status Review (BSR)
-Supplemental Information for the BSR
Other Informative Links
Animal Diversity Web
Florida Natural Areas Inventory
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Printable version of this page
Bunnell, J. F. and J. L. Ciraolo. 2010. The potential impact of simulated ground-water withdrawals on the oviposition, larval development, and metamorphosis of pond breeding frogs. Wetlands Ecology and Management 18:495–509.
Endries, M., B. Stys, G. Mohr, G. Kratimenos, S. Langley, K. Root, and R. Kautz. 2009. Wildlife habitat conservation needs in Florida. Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Technical Report TR-15. 178 pp.
Field, C. B., L. D. Mortsch, M. Barklacich, D. L. Forbes, P. Kovacs, J. A. Patz, S. W. Running, and M. J. Scott. 2007. Pages 617-652inM. L. Parry, O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof, P. J. van der Linden, and C. E. Hanson, editors. North America. Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Florida Natural Areas Inventory. 2001. Field guide to the rare animals of Florida. http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Hyla_andersonii.PDF
Jackson, D. 2004. Florida Bog Frog: Management Guidelines for Species at Risk on Department of Defense Installations. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia.
Means, D. B. 1992. Florida bog frog. Pages 20-25 in P. E. Moler, editor. Rare and endangered biota of Florida, vol. III: amphibians and reptiles. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA. 291pp.
Means, D. B. 2005. Florida bog frog. Pages 556–557 in M. J. Lannoo, editor. Amphibian declines: the conservation status of U.S. Amphibians. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1094 pp.
Image Credit FWC, Kevin Enge