Little Grass Frog
Photo Credit: John Jensen
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pseudacris ocularis (Bosc and Daudin)
OTHER NAMES: None.
DESCRIPTION: The smallest (max. snout-vent length = 20 mm [0.8 in.]) land vertebrate in
DISTRIBUTION: Coastal Plain from southeastern
HABITAT: Prefers relatively open grass and sedge-dominated wetlands associated with cypress ponds, pine flatwoods, and savannas (Harper 1939, Wright and Wright 1949, Mount 1975, Gibbons and Semlitsch 1991).
LIFE HISTORY AND ECOLOGY: Breeding season rather protracted compared with other native Pseudacris spp., occurring January to September (Harper 1939). Males have a tinkling, insect-like call issued from vegetative perches up to one meter (three feet) above the water (Harper 1939, Wright and Wright 1949). One hundred to 200 eggs per female are laid singly or in small clusters in shallow, rain-filled depressions and the edges of semi-permanent ponds (Harper 1939, Wright and Wright 1949, Mount 1975; Gibbons and Semlitsch 1991, Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). Tadpoles graze on algae and aquatic vegetation and metamorphose in 45 to 70 days (Wright and Wright 1949). Adults, active both night and day, eat a wide variety of small arthropods associated with leaf litter and soil (Marshall and Camp 1995). Cryptically colored and patterned to avoid detection from predators; can leap relatively far when escape is required (Wright and Wright 1949). Wolf spiders are documented predators (Owen and Johnson 1997), although others surely exist.
BASIS FOR STATUS CLASSIFICATION: Common and apparently secure throughout most of distribution, but somewhat vulnerable to extirpation in
Author: John B. Jensen