STRECKER'S CHORUS FROG
Pseudacris streckeri Wright & Wright 1933
sū-dā'-krĭs — strĕk-ər-ī


Conservation Status:

State: Kansas Threatened Species

Federal: None
NatureServe State: S2 - Imperiled
NatureServe National: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Global: G5 - Secure
CITES: None

An adult Strecker's Chorus Frog from Harper County, KS. © Travis W. Taggart.
Adult from Pratt County. Image by Travis W. Taggart.
A tadpole of Pseudacris streckeri.Image © Altig et al. (2006).
An adult Strecker's Chorus Frog from Barber County, KS. © Travis W. Taggart.

Description:
The Strecker's Chorus Frog is the largest of the chorus frog in Kansas. It has a stocky body and robust forearms. The ground color may be tan, gray, or greenish with many large light-edged dark spots along the side of the body and the back. It has a white belly and yellow or orange-yellow pigmentation on the groin. Most specimens have a dark spot below the eye. There is a dark stripe from snout to shoulder passing through the eye. During the breeding season, the vocal pouch of the male becomes dark. The ground color of a cold specimen is much darker and may approach the color of the spots. The ground color will lighten appreciably as the frog warms up.
Adults normally 25- 41 mm (1-1 5/8 inches) in SVL; largest Kansas specimen: male (KU 195621) from Harper County with SVL of 38 mm (1½ inches) collected by Suzanne L. Collins, Joseph T. Collins, and Larry Miller on 7 April 1984; maximum length throughout the range: 1½ inches (Conant and Collins, 1998).
Similar species: All other chorus frogs in Kansas posses of a continuous light line along the upper lip.

Distribution:
They can be found in south-central Kansas through Oklahoma and into eastern Texas, east int western Louisiana and west-central Arkansas along the Arkansas River. Other disjunct populations occur in west-central and southwest Illinois, southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas. In Kansas, it is known from south-central Kansas from southeast Pratt and southwest Kingman, south into Oklahoma. It is particularly abundant in areas with sandy soils.
(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
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  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 277
    Records 
  • 97
    Museum Vouchers 
  • 180
    Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Barber (46); Harper (182); Kingman (19); Pratt (30);

Natural History:
The fossorial Strecker's Chorus Frog is nocturnal, spending the day burrowed in the soil or under vegetation. Unlike most burrowing frogs, which back into the loose substrate using their hind legs, the Strecker's Chorus Frog burrows with its forelimbs and enters headfirst.
They can be found in a variety of habitats including open woodlands and rocky ravines, with a preference for sand prairies fields in Kansas.
It emerges following early spring rains and moves to flooded fields, ditches, small ponds, and vernal pools to breed. The call of the Strecker's Chorus Frog is a series of clear, high-pitched single-note whistles. A large chorus of Strecker's Chorus Frogs has been described as "a rapidly turning pulley wheel badly in need of greasing."
Breeding occurs in ephemeral depressions (wallows, ditches, cultivated fields, tire ruts, etc.) during March and April following sufficient precipitation Miller, 2004, found about a dozen calling by day from a small shallow pond in Harper County on 22 April 2004 at an air temperature of 56 deg. That night they heard hundreds calling from roadside ditches, shallow pasture pools, and agricultural fields in southeastern Barber and southwestern Harper counties.
The eggs are attached to vegetation and hatch within a few days. The tadpoles transform within two months.
Transformed Strecker's Chorus Frogs actively forage on humid nights. They eat small insects and other arthropods.

Occurrence Activity:
The blue dates denote chorusing actity. The red dates are other occurrences. The darker a date is, the greater the relative number of observations for that date.
Chorusing:

Audio recording by Keith Coleman.

Chorusing Phenology: The black outlined dots denote the Julian date (day of the year; 1 January = 1 to 31 December = 365) an observation was made. The thin red line depicts the range of dates between the beginning of the first, and end of the fourth quartile (excluding outliers; Tukey method). The thick light blue bar represents the second and third quartile (interquartile range; the middle 50% of all observations). Only one observation per Julian date is included in the graphs; so a date with multiple observations carries the same weight as a date with only one observation. The vertical bars correspond to the 12 months of the year; January through December.
# Unique Obervations: 157; Range: 27 Feb to 30 May; Interquartile range: 28 Mar to 22 Apr;

Observation Type: (of recorded types)
Remarks:
First reported from the state by Stegall (1977) from central Harper County. The earliest existing specimen is from 1977 (KU 174370). Gray (1982) discovered several new localities for this taxon and contributed much-needed information on its chorusing and breeding activity. Miller (1987) reported discovering two young specimens under boards on sandy soil following heavy rain in Harper County.
While running his Kansas Anuran Monitoring Program (KAMP) route in southeastern Pratt County, Nate Davis discovered a chorus of this species near the Isabel Wetland Wildlife Area on 25 March 2004. The following evening, Curtis Schmidt and Travis W. Taggart secured a voucher from several males calling in the water-filled depression of a wheat field on the wildlife area (Taggart and Schmidt, 2004). The water covered approximately two hectares and reached a maximum depth of 0.5 meters. Other frogs observed in the same pool were Spea bombifrons, Bufo woodhousii, and Pseudacris maculata. The latter two species were chorusing as well.
Following the initial discovery in Pratt County, an attempt was made to determine the limits of this isolated population by systematically driving nearby roads and listening for calls. All observations from that effort were made in sand prairie habitat in Pratt County and adjacent Barber and Kingman counties (Davis et al., 2004). Annual attempts to fill in the gaps and extend the range are ongoing (T. W. Taggart, pers. com.).
The discovery of this northern population extended the range of this taxon further into the state another 30 miles and does much to bolster and secure its status. Where it occurs, its distinctive call can be expected for a few weeks in late winter to early spring. Surveys of additional sand prairies (particularly north of US 54 in Pratt County) may reveal the existence of more populations. Recent (2017) surveys by Jeff Seim, Zachary Cordes, and Daren Riedle (KDWPT) have added significant observations and partially bridged the gap. Surveys in 2018 and 2019 by Travis W. Taggart have since demonstrated that the two populations are connected.
Listed as a Kansas Endangered species in 1978. No recovery plan exists for this species. As defined by Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining population(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife.
Due to the intermittency of the individual breeding pools used by Strecker's Chorus Frogs, specific site designations for critical habitats are not made; however, whenever and wherever they occur, all wetlands and rainwater basins and pools within those portions of Barber and Harper counties located south of U.S. Highway 160, east of U.S. Highway 281, and west of a north-south line beginning at the NE corner of Section 26, T32S, R7W, Harper County and extending due south to the Kansas-Oklahoma border are considered critical habitats. The northern population inhabits wetlands, permanent and intermittent, in sand prairie habitat in Pratt, Barber, and Kingman counties.

Bibliography:
1933 Wright, Anna Allen, and Alex Hazen Wright Handbook of frogs and toads. The frogs and toads of the United States and Canada Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, NY. xi+231pp.
1950 Smith, Hobart M. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas. University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication (2):336
1966 Smith, Philip W. Pseudacris streckeri. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (27):1-2
1974 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (1):283 pp
1977 Clarke, Robert F. A note from the president. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (22):1
1977 Stegall, Eddie. First Strecker's Chorus Frog collected in Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (21):11-13
1978 Gray, Peter. Geographical distribution: Pseudacris streckeri streckeri. Herpetological Review 9():21-22
1978 Rundquist, Eric M., Eddie Stegall, David Grow, and Peter Gray. New herpetological records from Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science (81):73-77
1982 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. 2nd edition. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (8):
1982 Gray, Peter Distribution and Status of Strecker's Chorus Frog (Pseudacris streckeri streckeri) in south-central Kansas. Contract #48. ():23
1983 Collins, Joseph T. New records of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles in Kansas for 1982 . Technical Publication of the State Biological Survey of Kansas 13():9-21
1986 Gray, Peter and Eddie Stegall. Distribution and status of Strecker's Chorus Frog (Pseudacris streckeri streckeri) in Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 89():81-85
1987 Miller, Larry L. An investigation of four rare snakes in south-central Kansas. Final Report. Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission, Pratt. 24pp.
1988 Busby, William H. The Kansas Natural Heritage Program: Taking stock of Kansas' natural heritage. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (71):9-12
1988 Miller, Larry L. Harper County KHS field trip well attended. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (72):5-6
1989 Simmons, John E. Endangered and threatened in Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (75):4-5
1990 Collins, Joseph T. Maximum size records for Kansas amphibians and reptiles. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (81):13-17
1990 Lardie, Richard L. Kansas threatened species and protection of the Gypsum Hills habitat. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (80):14-15
1991 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1990. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (83):7-13
1991 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
1992 Rundquist, Eric M. Kansas endangered, threatened, and SINC species. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (91):
1992 Taggart, Travis W. KHS field trips. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (91):3
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. Third Edition. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Lawrence. 397pp.
1995 Moriarty, Emily C. and Joseph T. Collins. First known occurrence of amphibian species in Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (100):28-30
1996 Rakestraw, J. Spring herp counts: A Kansas tradition. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine (March-April):75-80
1998 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed, expanded. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
2000 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the eleventh and twelfth annual KHS herpetofaunal counts for 1999-2000, held 1 April-31 May. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (122):11-16
2001 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the thirteenth annual KHS herp counts for 2001, held 1 April-30 June. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (125):13-16
2002 Kingsbury, Bruce and Joanna Gibson. Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Midwest. Publication of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Address not given. 152pp.
2004 Davis, Nate and Travis W. Taggart. Geographic distribution. Pseudacris streckeri. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (10):10
2004 Davis, Nate, Travis W. Taggart, and Curtis J. Schmidt. Geographic distribution, Pseudacris streckeri. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (10):10
2004 Miller, Larry L. Notes on Strecker's Chorus Frog activity in Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (10):13
2006 Altig, Ronald, Roy W. McDiarmid, Kimberly A. Nichols, and Paul C. Ustach Tadpoles of the United States and Canada: A Tutorial and Key Electronic files accessible at http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/tadpole/. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, USA. ():
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Distribution and status of Kansas herpetofauna in need of information. State Wildlife Grant T7. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. vii + 106pp.
2010 Collins, Joseph T., Suzanne L. Collins, and Travis W. Taggart. Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles of Kansas Eagle Mountain Publishing., Provo, Utah. 400pp.
2011 Taggart, Travis W. Kansas Herpetological Society 2011 spring field trip to beheld in Chautauqua County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (37):5-7
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2014 Barrow, Lisa N., Hannah F. Ralicki, Sandra A. Emme, Emily Moriarty Lemmon. Species tree estimation of North American chorus frogs (Hylidae: Pseudacris) with parallel tagged amplicon sequencing. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 75():78-90
2015 Rohweder, Megan R. Kansas Wildlife Action Plan. Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism in cooperation with the Kansas Biological Survey. 176pp.
2016 Powell, Robert, Roger Conant, and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. 494pp.
2017 Taggart, Travis W. and J. Daren Riedle. A Pocket Guide to Kansas Amphibians, Turtles and Lizards. Great Plains Nature Center, Wichita, Kansas. 69pp.
2020 Fischer, Annie. Species profile: Strecker's Chorus Frog. Kansas Wildlife and Parks Magazine March/April():44
2020 Riedle, J. Daren. Revisiting Kansas Herpetological Society field trip and Herp Count data: Distributional patterns and trend data of Kansas amphibians and reptiles. Collinsorum 9(1):7-16
Account Last Updated:
7/29/2020 1:11:39 PM