Pseudacris maculata
(Agassiz 1850)

sū-dā'-krĭs — măk-ū-lā-tă

An adult Boreal Chorus Frog from Logan County. © Travis W. Taggart.
An adult Boreal Chorus Frog from near Milford Reservoir in Clay County, Kansas. Image © Caleb Bomske.
Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
A tadpole of Pseudacris maculata. Image © Altig et al. (2006).
Egg mass, from Montgomery Co. Image © Travis W. Taggart.

The ground color may be various shades of brown, gray or green. Typically have three dark brown stripes running down the back, but the stripes may be broken to form spots. Their belly is yellowish, cream or white and there may be dark markings on the throat and chest, especially on calling males.
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 19-39 mm (¾-1½ inches) in SVL; largest Kansas specimen: female (KU 184955) from Douglas County with SVL of 39 mm (1½ inches) collected by Steven M. Roble on 2 April 1980; maximum length throughout the range.

Found statewide except for the extreme southwestern corner.

(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
Open icons are questionable records; Click on a marker to view details. Export Google Earth (.kml)
  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 3,982 Total Records 
  • 1,493 Museum Vouchers 
  • 2,489 Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (41); Anderson (13); Atchison (1); Barber (21); Barton (113); Bourbon (80); Brown (2); Butler (59); Chase (45); Chautauqua (34); Cherokee (59); Cheyenne (11); Clark (2); Clay (11); Cloud (21); Coffey (231); Comanche (19); Cowley (14); Crawford (42); Dickinson (5); Doniphan (6); Douglas (579); Edwards (8); Elk (7); Ellis (114); Ellsworth (34); Finney (51); Franklin (73); Geary (5); Gove (4); Graham (88); Gray (9); Greenwood (92); Harper (52); Harvey (53); Hodgeman (11); Jackson (102); Jefferson (6); Jewell (5); Johnson (44); Kearney (4); Kingman (20); Kiowa (1); Labette (81); Lane (7); Leavenworth (52); Lincoln (1); Linn (71); Logan (10); Lyon (29); Marion (98); Marshall (25); McPherson (119); Meade (1); Miami (49); Mitchell (2); Montgomery (101); Morris (3); Nemaha (18); Neosho (47); Ness (49); Norton (3); Osage (123); Osborne (21); Ottawa (4); Pawnee (19); Phillips (10); Pottawatomie (144); Pratt (57); Rawlins (1); Reno (21); Republic (2); Rice (10); Riley (44); Rooks (4); Rush (27); Russell (8); Saline (49); Scott (1); Sedgwick (74); Shawnee (17); Sheridan (19); Sherman (2); Smith (4); Stafford (48); Sumner (62); Thomas (1); Trego (17); Unknown (4); Wabaunsee (71); Wallace (2); Washington (15); Wichita (1); Wilson (47); Woodson (6); Wyandotte (5);

Natural History:
They are typically found in low-lying vegetated areas after significant late winter or early spring rains when they congregate in large numbers to chorus and mate. The call is a clicking trill (similar to running your fingernail along the teeth of a comb) lasting 2 to 5 seconds, which rises in inflection. They call from February into May. 
Like all chorus frogs, they are seldom found outside of the breeding season as they seek refuge under cover and only emerge after rains or humid nights to forage for small invertebrates. Hartman (1906) reported algae and ants in the stomachs of four young specimens and spiders from two adult individuals.

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.

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: 2418; Range: 25 Feb to 14 Oct; Interquartile range: 04 Apr to 11 Jun;

The Boreal Chorus Frog was first reported in Kansas by Cragin, (1880). The earliest existing specimen is from 1891 (USNM 45921).
An extremely observably abundant amphibian during following late winter and spring rains. At other times of the year, this species is seldom encountered, and can most often be found crossing roads on rainy nights while foraging.
Moriarty and Cannatella (2004), Moriarty (2007), and Moriarty et al. (2008) found that Pseudacris clarkii and Pseudacris maculata were not reciprocally monophyletic.

1878 Coues, Elliot and Henry C. Yarrow. Notes on the herpetology of Dakota and Montana. Bulletin of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey 4():259-291
1880 Cragin, Francis W. A preliminary catalogue of Kansas reptiles and batrachians Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 7():114-123
1889 Cope, Edward D The batrachia of North America. Bulletin of the United States National Museum (34):1-525
1906 Hartman, Frank A. Food habits of Kansas lizards and batrachians. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 20():225-229
1909 Hurter, Julius and John K. Strecker, Jr. Amphibians and reptiles of Arkansas. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 18(2):11-27
1911 Hurter, Julius. Herpetology of Missouri. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 20(5):59-274
1925 Linsdale, Jean M. Land Vertebrates of a Limited Area in Eastern Kansas. Thesis. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 312pp.
1927 Linsdale, Jean M. Amphibians and reptiles of Doniphan County, Kansas. Copeia 1927(164):75-81
1929 Burt, Charles E. and May Danheim Burt. A collection of amphibians and reptiles from the Mississippi valley, with field observations. American Museum Novitates (381):1-14
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.
1956 Loomis, Richard B. The chigger mites of Kansas (Acarina, Trombiculidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37():1195-1443
1956 Smith, Philip W. The status, correct name, and geographic range of the Boreal Chorus Frog. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 69():169-176
1958 Johnson, Richard M. A biogeographic study of the herpetofauna of eastern Tennessee. Dissertation. University of Florida, Gainesville. 231pp.
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.
1978 Curl, Richard L. Final Environmental Statement: Milford Lake Kansas operation and maintenance. US Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District. 158pp.
1978 Fitch, Henry S. and E. Raymond Hall. A 20year record of succession on reseeded fields of tallgrass prairie on the Rockefeller Experimental Tract. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Special Publication (4):1-15
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.
1989 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1988. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (75):15-18
1989 Platz, James E. Speciation within the Chorus Frog Pseudacris triseriata: Morphometric and mating call analyses of the boreal and western subspecies. Copeia 1989(3):704-712
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
1992 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS annual field trip to Sheridan County State Lake. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (90):3
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 Rakestraw, J. Spring herp counts: A Kansas tradition. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine (March-April):75-80
1998 Gamble, Jerre Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hartford, Kansas. 91pp.
2000 Van Doren, Mark D. and Curtis J. Schmidt. A herpetological survey of the Fort Larned National Historic Site, Pawnee County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (120):8-11
2002 Coleman, Keith. Geographic distribution: Pseudacris triseriata. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):14
2002 Gubanyi, James E.. Osage County herp count I. 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
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.
2004 Moriarty, Emily C. and David C. Cannatella Phylogenetic relationships of the North American Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris: Hylidae) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 30():409-420
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 Moriarty-Lemmon, Emily. Patterns and Processes of Speciation in North American Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris). Dissertation. University of Texas, Austin. 304pp.
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 Moriarty-Lemmon, Emily, Alan R. Lemmon, Joseph T. Collins, and David C. Cannatella A new North American chorus frog species (Amphibia: Hylidae: Pseudacris) from the south-central United States. Zootaxa (1675):1-30
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 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 Brown, Kasandra A. Occupancy Modeling Of Herpetofauna And Grassland Nesting Birds At Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 72pp.
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:
3/25/2019 8:08:34 AM

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