Dryophytes gratiosus

Dryophytes gratiosus

Barking tree frog

Dryophytes gratiosus

Dryophytes gratiosus, commonly known as the barking tree frog, is a species of tree frog endemic to the south-eastern United States.


Dryophytes gratiosus is the largest native tree frog in the United States, acquiring its name from the raucous and explosive call. It is 5 to 7 cm (2.0 to 2.8 in) in head-body length. It is variable in color, but easily recognizable due to the characteristic dark, round markings on its dorsum. Individuals may be bright or dull green, brown, yellowish, or gray in color with small, grey and green-yellow spots. It has prominent, round toe pads, and the male has a large vocal sac. Dryophytes gratiosus has skin that is unlike any other species of American frog. Its skin is neither rough and warty not smooth, having skin that is thick and leathery. Its skin can also shift colors depending on lighting, time of day, temperature, or its surroundings. Changes in color can be rapid and the spots can seem to disappear and reappear over time. The eyes of Dryophytes gratiosus are brown, gold, and black.



Biogeographical realms

It is found from Delaware to southern Florida and eastern Louisiana, usually in coastal areas. There are also some isolated colonies in Maryland, Kentucky, and Tennessee. A temporary population was found in New Jersey in 1957.

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Adult Dryophytes gratiosus usually live in trees or bushes. They can also burrow deep into mud and logs for added protection from predators.

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Habits and Lifestyle

The barking tree frog is known for its loud, strident, barking call. It may also utter a repetitive single-syllable mating call. It has been known to chorus with other frogs of the same and similar species. Furthermore, during mating, a female D. gratiosus is more likely to pick an attractive mating call unless if it is more than five meters away. Male mating success is positively correlated with chorus attendance however limitations from energy costs reduce the length of time that the males will call in chorus. They slowly become in poorer condition until they either die or leave the pond to replenish their energy requirements.

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The barking tree frog burrows in the sand, especially when the temperature is hot. It also spends time high up in trees, especially during the day when it is less active.

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Diet and Nutrition

Mating Habits


Population number

According to the ICUN Red List, Dryophytes gratiosus is of the status of Least Concern as of March 2019.


1. Dryophytes gratiosus Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryophytes_gratiosus
2. Dryophytes gratiosus on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/55495/112714049

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