SPOTTED CHORUS FROG
Pseudacris clarkii (Baird 1854)
sū-dā'-krĭs — clär-kī


Conservation Status:

State: None

Federal: None
NatureServe State: S5 - Secure
NatureServe National: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Global: G5 - Secure
CITES: None

An adult specimen from Chautauqua County. Image © Suzanne L. Collins.
A tadpole of Pseudacris clarkii. Image © Altig et al. (2006).

Description:
Spotted Chorus Frogs are grey to olive green in color, with black-edged green to dark green irregularly spaced blotches on their backs. They often have a triangle-shaped green blotch on top of the head between their eyes. The belly is light-colored and unspotted, but the throats of chorusing males are darkened.
Adults normally 19-28 mm (¾ to 1-1/8 inches) in SVL; largest Kansas specimen: male (KU 4515) from Rush County with a total length of 31 mm (1¼ inches) collected by Theodore E. White on 12 August 1927; maximum length throughout range: 1¼ inches (Conant and Collins, 1998).

Distribution:
South-central portions of the state. Generally confined to the drainages south of, and including the Arkansas and Verdigris rivers. 
The observations from Allen, Coffey, Labette, and McPherson counties were reported via the Kansas Anuran Monitoring Program (KAMP). KAMP records are by call only (visual identification is not required). Spotted Chorus Frog calls are easily confused with those of the Boreal Chorus Frogs, and therefore, these records need to be corroborated with specimens

(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
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  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 361
    Records 
  • 205
    Museum Vouchers 
  • 156
    Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (1); Barber (29); Barton (1); Butler (6); Chautauqua (19); Clark (8); Coffey (2); Comanche (46); Cowley (11); Ellis (15); Finney (3); Ford (1); Gray (7); Greenwood (14); Harper (37); Haskell (6); Hodgeman (1); Kiowa (12); Labette (12); McPherson (2); Meade (15); Montgomery (11); Ness (1); Pawnee (12); Pratt (1); Rush (7); Russell (1); Sedgwick (30); Seward (2); Sumner (47); Unknown (1);

Natural History:
They are found in open prairie grasslands and pastures. They breed in shallow ponds, cattle tanks, and ephemeral streams. As winter approaches, they burrow under thatch and loose earth until March and April rains bring them out again. The call is a raspy trill wrraaay-wrraaay-wrraaay repeated 20-30 times rapidly. They call from March into June.

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: 163; Range: 22 Mar to 28 Aug; Interquartile range: 22 Apr to 03 Jun;

Observation Type: (of recorded types)
Remarks:
The Spotted Chorus Frog was first reported in Kansas by Smith, (1950). The earliest existing specimen is from 1892 (USNM 45828).
The records mapped for Ellis and Russell counties by Collins (1993) are in need of verification. There are pockets of Boreal Chorus Frogs along Big Creek and the Smoky Hill River in these two counties which posses broken striping and resemble Spotted Chorus Frog. These northern spotted Pseudacris do not have green blotches as do most Spotted Chorus Frogs, and instead, are colored as typical Boreal Chorus Frogs. Live specimens are needed to verify their presence.
Moriarty and Cannatella (2004), Moriarty (2007), and Moriarty et al. (2008) found that Pseudacris clarkii and Pseudacris maculata were not reciprocally monophyletic.

Bibliography:
1922 O'Roke, Earl C. Frogs and frogging. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 30():448-451
1950 Smith, Hobart M. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas. University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication (2):336
1953 Schmidt, Karl P. A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 6th Edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. 280pp.
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.
1974 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (1):283 pp
1976 Rundquist, Eric M. Field checklist (of) amphibians and reptiles of Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society, Lawrence. pp.
1977 Grow, David. Clark County visited by the Society. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (19):1-2
1977 Perry, Janice. Kansas herps needed. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (18):2-3
1978 Capron, Marty. Four county collecting raid: A south central Kansas herping saga. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (26):9-12
1978 Warner, M. and R. Wencel. Chikaskia River study held near Caldwell. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (25):15-16
1979 Gray, Peter and Eddie Stegall. A field trip to the Red Hills. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (29):6-8
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 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. 2nd edition. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (8):
1986 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1985. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (63):4
1987 Simmons, John E. September 1987 field trip report. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (69):42894
1988 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1987. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (71):13-19
1988 Miller, Larry L. Harper County KHS field trip well attended. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (72):5-6
1989 Collins, Joseph T. First Kansas herp counts held in 1989. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (77):11-
1990 Collins, Joseph T. Maximum size records for Kansas amphibians and reptiles. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (81):13-17
1990 Collins, Joseph T. Results of second Kansas herp count held during April-May 1990. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (81):10-12
1990 Lardie, Richard L. Kansas threatened species and protection of the Gypsum Hills habitat. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (80):14-15
1990 Pierce, Benjamin A. and Patricia H. Whitehurst. Pseudacris clarkii. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (458):1-3
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 Collins, Joseph T. Results of the fourth Kansas herp count held during April-May 1992. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (89):10-
1992 Gubanyi, James E. An observation on the stomach contents of a Texas Longnose Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei tessellatus). Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (89):17
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the fifth Kansas herp count held during April-June 1993 . Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (94):7-11
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. Third Edition. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Lawrence. 397pp.
1994 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the sixth annual KHS herp counts held 1 April-31 May 1994. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (97):5-14
1995 Moriarty, Emily C. and Joseph T. Collins. First known occurrence of amphibian species in Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (100):28-30
1995 Rundquist, Eric M. Additional KHS herp counts for 1995. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (102):11-
1996 Rakestraw, J. Spring herp counts: A Kansas tradition. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine (March-April):75-80
1996 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the eighth annual KHS herp counts Held 1 April-31 May 1996. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (104):6-17
1997 Rundquist, Eric M. Addendum to 1997 KHS herp counts. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (109):14-15
1997 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the ninth annual KHS herp counts held 1 April-31 May 1997. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (108):12-17
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.
1999 Rundquist, Eric M. Kansas Herpetological Society herp counts: A 10 year summary and evaluation. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (115):42962
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.
2003 Miller, Larry L. Sumner County herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (7):10
2003 Taggart, Travis W. Kansas Herpetological Society 2003 spring field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (5):3-4
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 Miller, Larry L. Sumner County herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (11):11-12
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
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.
2007 Moriarty-Lemmon, Emily. Patterns and Processes of Speciation in North American Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris). Dissertation. University of Texas, Austin. 304pp.
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
2008 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2008 spring field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (25):2-3
2010 Collins, Joseph T., Suzanne L. Collins, and Travis W. Taggart. Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles of Kansas Eagle Mountain Publishing., Provo, Utah. 400pp.
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.
2010 Murrow, Daniel G. Kansas Herpetological Society spring field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (33):2-3
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.
2013 Mardis, Dexter and Kevin Scott. 2013 Kansas Herpetofaunal Counts. Collinsorum 2(3/4):7
2013 Miller, Larry L. Wellington Lake Herpetological Survey. Collinsorum 2(1/2):12
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
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.
2016 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS ‘Fall’ field trip to Barber County. Collinsorum 5(2-3):6-7
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 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:
8/30/2018 9:18:21 AM