Acris blanchardi
Harper 1947

ā-krĭs — blăn-chăr'-dī

An adult Blanchard's Cricket Frog from Riley County. Image © Jfro N Trina Volpert.
An adult Blanchard's Cricket Frog from Sedgwick County, Kansas. Image © Mike Everhart.
Adult from Wilson County. Image © Travis W. Taggart
An adult from Pottawatomie County. Image © Ryan Shofner.
An adult from Pottawatomie County. Image © Ryan Shofner.
A tadpole of Acris crepitans. Image © Altig et al. (2006).

Variable in color. They may have a gray to a dark brown background with a tan, red, brown, or green blotches or stripe down the back. A dark triangle is usually found between the eyes, and the dorsal skin is warty while the ventral skin is unspotted and smooth.
Adults normally 15-38 mm (¼-1½ inches) in SVL; largest Kansas specimen: female (KU 215686) from Douglas County with SVL of 33 mm (1 5/16 inches) collected by Kevin R. Toal on 24 May 1990; maximum length throughout range: 1½ inches (Conant and Collins, 1998).

Abundant throughout the eastern two-thirds of Kansas along the level muddy or gravel, sparsely vegetated, banks of streams, rivers, and impoundments. Historically, it was more widespread in the western two-thirds of Kansas, though largely confined to stream corridors. The lack of surface water due to decreased runoff (terracing and dams) and aquifer use (irrigation and municipal) has rendered extended stretches of these streams uninhabitable to this frog. 
This species is missing from much of its former range in Colorado and Nebraska (Hammerson and Livo 1999; Lynch 1985; Fogell 2010; Ballinger et al. 2010).

(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
Open icons are questionable records; Click on a marker to view details. Export Google Earth (.kml)
  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 6,755 Total Records 
  • 5,172 Museum Vouchers 
  • 1,583 Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (77); Anderson (8); Atchison (9); Barber (45); Barton (51); Bourbon (46); Brown (40); Butler (33); Chase (178); Chautauqua (19); Cherokee (291); Cheyenne (8); Clark (10); Clay (26); Cloud (28); Coffey (163); Comanche (41); Cowley (100); Crawford (96); Decatur (3); Dickinson (99); Doniphan (10); Douglas (2036); Elk (5); Ellis (209); Ellsworth (19); Finney (11); Ford (1); Franklin (63); Geary (12); Gove (11); Graham (9); Grant (1); Greeley (1); Greenwood (102); Harper (68); Harvey (73); Hodgeman (2); Jackson (84); Jefferson (18); Jewell (19); Johnson (29); Kingman (15); Kiowa (16); Labette (84); Lane (3); Leavenworth (100); Lincoln (4); Linn (67); Logan (7); Lyon (18); Marion (68); Marshall (27); McPherson (66); Meade (27); Miami (138); Mitchell (12); Montgomery (175); Morris (3); Morton (2); Nemaha (33); Neosho (30); Norton (7); Osage (31); Osborne (11); Ottawa (5); Pawnee (12); Phillips (11); Pottawatomie (156); Pratt (9); Reno (33); Republic (1); Rice (14); Riley (51); Rooks (79); Rush (3); Russell (58); Saline (58); Scott (22); Sedgwick (90); Shawnee (50); Sheridan (25); Sherman (16); Smith (7); Stafford (3); Sumner (68); Trego (23); Unknown (13); Wabaunsee (411); Wallace (340); Washington (30); Wichita (1); Wilson (43); Woodson (16); Wyandotte (8);

Natural History:
They inhabit open edges of permanent ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers. They can be very numerous on partially vegetated mudflats or sandy shorelines. They are typically the first frogs active each year and have been found active on 40° F sunny days in eastern Kansas. When chased, they are quick to jump into the water but very quickly return to the shoreline. Males call day and night from late spring through summer. The call sounds like clicking two marbles together. Breeding April to August. Eggs and larvae develop in the shallow water of ponds, marshes, ditches, slow streams, springs, or rain pools.
Hartman (1906) examined seven specimens from across Kansas and found they had consumed ants, a caterpillar, lady-bugs, snapping-beetles, a spider, on small crayfish, and unidentified small beetles.

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

Audio recording by Keith Coleman.

Chorusing Phenology: The black dots illustrate the actual Julian date (day of the year; 1 January = 1 to 31 December = 365) observations were 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: 1477; Range: 20 Mar to 30 Jul; Interquartile range: 02 May to 18 Jun;

The Blanchard's Cricket Frog was first reported in Kansas by Cragin, (1880). The earliest existing specimen is from 1904 (KU 7918).
Historic populations need to be re-assessed in the western quarter of Kansas.

1880 Cragin, Francis W. A preliminary catalogue of Kansas reptiles and batrachians Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 7():114-123
1882 Yarrow, Henry C. Check list of North American Reptilia and Batrachia with catalogue of specimens in U. S. National Museum. Bulletin of the United States National Museum (24):1-249
1889 Cope, Edward D The batrachia of North America. Bulletin of the United States National Museum (34):1-525
1905 Ditmars, Raymond L. The batrachians of the vicinity of New York City. American Museum Journal 5(4):161-206
1906 Dickerson, Mary C. The Frog Book; North American Toads and Frogs, with Study of the Habits and Life Histories of Those of the Northeastern States. Doubleday, Page & Company, New York, New York. 253pp.
1906 Hartman, Frank A. Food habits of Kansas lizards and batrachians. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 20():225-229
1925 Linsdale, Jean M. Land Vertebrates of a Limited Area in Eastern Kansas. Thesis. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 312pp.
1926 Forney, Elsie A. The fauna of an artificial pond. Thesis. University of Kansas, Lawrence. 76pp.
1927 Linsdale, Jean M. Amphibians and reptiles of Doniphan County, Kansas. Copeia 1927(164):75-81
1932 Gloyd, Howard K. The herpetological fauna of the Pigeon Lake Region, Miami County, Kansas. Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 15():389-408
1933 Smith, Hobart M. The Amphibians of Kansas Thesis. University of Kansas, Lawrence. 383pp.
1934 Brennan, Lawrence A. A check list of the amphibians and reptiles of Ellis County, Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():189-191
1935 Brennan, Lawrence A. Notes on the Distribution of Amphibia and Reptilia of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 114pp.
1937 Brennan, Lawrence A. A study of the habitat of reptiles and amphibians of Ellis County, Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 40():341-347
1944 Marr, John C. Notes on amphibians and reptiles from the central United States. American Midland Naturalist 32(2):478-490
1956 Loomis, Richard B. The chigger mites of Kansas (Acarina, Trombiculidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37():1195-1443
1962 Gish, Charles D. The Herpetofauna of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 34pp.
1975 Rundquist, Eric M. First KHS field trip yields three county records. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (7):1-3
1976 Caldwell, Janalee P. and Gregory. Glass. Vertebrates of the Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Pages 62-76 in Preliminary inventory of the biota of Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Report No. 5. State Biological Survey of Kansas, Lawrence. pp.
1977 Knight, James L. and Joseph T. Collins. The amphibians and reptiles of Cheyenne County, Kansas, Report Number 15. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 19pp.
1977 Rundquist, Eric M. and Joseph T. Collins. The amphibians of Cherokee County, Kansas. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 12pp.
1980 Clarke, Robert F. Herptiles and fishes of the western Arkansas River in Kansas. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 55pp.
1982 Caldwell, Janalee P. Disruptive selection: A tail color polymorphism in Acris tadpoles in response to differential predation. Canadian Journal of Zoology 60():2818-2827
1982 Fitch, Henry S. Resources of a snake community in prairie-woodland habitat of northeastern Kansas. Pages 83-97 in Herpetological communities: A symposium of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and the Herpetologists League, August 1977.  Wildlife Research Reports 12. 239 pp. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D. C. pp.
1986 Terry, P. A. Biological survey of the KS segments of Spring River and Shoal Creek. Part 1. Field Survey. Draft. Kansas Fish and Game, Pratt, Kansas. 67pp.
1991 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Cimarron National Grasslands, Morton County, Kansas. U. S. Forest Service, Elkhart, Kansas. 60pp.
1991 Fitch, Henry S. Reptiles and amphibians of the Kansas ecological reserves. Pages 71-74 in Multidisciplinary Guidebook 4. Kansas Academy of Science, Lawrence. pp.
1992 Taggart, Travis W. Observations on Kansas amphibians and reptiles Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (88):13-15
1994 Fitzgerald, Eve and Charles Nilon Classification of habitats for endangered and threatened species in Wyandotte County, Kansas Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt, Kansas. 98pp.
1995 Moriarty, Emily C. and Joseph T. Collins. First known occurrence of amphibian species in Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (100):28-30
1996 Miller, Larry L. Many amphibian and reptile species identified during KHS 1996 fall field trip to Wabaunsee County. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (106):2-3
1996 Miller, Larry L. Third graders conduct amphibian and reptile field study. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (106):15
1999 Taggart, Travis W. Cherokee County fall 1999 herp count. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (117):6
2000 Taggart, Travis W. KHS spring field trip sets record for attendance. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (120):5-5
2000 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2000 fall field trip. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (122):6-8
2001 Schmidt, Curtis J. The amphibians, turtles, and reptiles of the Smoky Valley Ranch, Logan County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (124):9-11
2001 Taggart, Travis W. The KHS 2001 spring field trip: A rainy rendezvous. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (124):12-14
2002 Gubanyi, James E.. Osage County herp count I. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):15
2002 Miller, Larry L. Osage County herp count II. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):15
2002 Miller, Larry L. Shawnee County herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):15
2002 Miller, Larry L. Sumner County herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):15
2002 Riedle, J. Daren and A. Hynek. Amphibian and reptile inventory of the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant, Labette County, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (2):18-20
2002 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2002 fall field Trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):11-13
2003 Freeman, Craig C. A natural areas inventory of the Ft. Leavenworth Military Reservation, Leavenworth County, Kansas. II. Open-file Report No. 117. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, Kansas. 199pp.
2003 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2003 fall field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (8):14-15
2004 Delisle, Jennifer M. and William H. Busby Biological inventory for vertebrates at Fort Larned National Historic Site of the southern plains network. Natural Heritage Inventory, Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 61pp.
2005 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2005 fall field trip [to Crawford County]. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (16):19-21
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 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.
2007 Taggart, Travis W., Joseph T. Collins, and Curtis J. Schmidt. Estimates of amphibian, reptile, and turtle mortality if Phostoxin is applied to 10,000 acres of prairie dog burrows in Logan County, Kansas. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. 5pp.
2008 Gamble, Tony, Peter B. Berendzen, H. Bradley Shaffer, David E. Starkey, and Andrew Simons Species limites and phylogeography of North American cricket frogs (Acris: Hylidae) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48():112-125
2010 Ballinger, Royce E., John D. Lynch, and Geoffrey R. Smith Amphibians and Reptiles of Nebraska Rusty Lizard Press, Oro Valley, Arizona. 400pp.
2010 Burdick, Seth L. and David L. Swanson. Status, distribution and microhabitats of Blanchard''s Cricket Frog Acris blanchardi in South Dakota. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 5(1):9-16
2010 Miller, Larry L. 2010 Investigation of the Checkered Garter Snake in Kansas with notes on other Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles encountered. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt, Kansas. 31pp.
2011 McMartin, David C. U. S. Army 2011 Fort Leavenworth Herpetofaunal Survey: 23 April - 09 May 2011. Privately printed, Leavenworth, Kansas. 33pp.
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2014 Pisani, George R. and Patricia A. Pisani. Late Season Chorusing by Blanchard's Cricket Frogs. Collinsorum 3(1):9
2016 Pittman, Galen L., Henry S. Fitch, and W. Dean Kettle Vertebrate animals on the Fitch Natural History Reservation (1948-2002) Kansas Biological Survey Report Number 188, Lawrence. 48pp.
2017 Snyder, Ariel Survey Of Anuran Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in Kansas and the Influence of Anuran Life History in Occurrence. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 53pp.
Account Last Updated:
8/4/2019 10:34:00 PM

Travis W. Taggart © 2020 — Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University