This week, I thought I’d take a break from bugs and show you something you might have in your backyard, but never see. This is commonly known as the gray tree frog, but that name is more misleading than its scientific name, Hyla versicolor. The tree frog is a master of disguise and can change from almost white to nearly black with various versions of gray and green in between. It is reported that they change at a slower rate than a chameleon (which I have not seen first hand,) but I can tell you that capturing this one in various colors took weeks because sometimes he would change by the time I picked him up and took him to a good location for photographing. Green was very hard because as soon as I would put him in my hand he would start turing gray.
This is Petrie (my daughter named him and cared for him until he resumed life in our yard.) And yes, we know that he is a boy. Gray tree frog gender can be determined by the color of the throat. The female throat is white and the male throat is gray to black.
Also, the female does not chirp or croak. Here is Petrie mid croak.
The gray tree frog is also known as the eastern tree frog due to being found pretty much anywhere on the east coast. If you are wondering why you have never seen one, it is because 1) they only leave the tree tops to mate, 2) they are nocturnal, and 3) you do not have my daughter who can literally find any creature she wants if she puts her mind to it! (Photo of her at the end)
When I was younger and would watch the Wizard of Oz every time it came on tv, my favorite part was the horse of many colors in the Emerald City. Remember that? I always thought that part was too short! Having a tree frog is like having a frog of many colors right in your hand. Here is Petrie in a version of speckled gray.
As Petrie moved around on the bark, he would change to camouflage himself.
Moss on the tree? That is no problem.
If it wasn’t for his bright yellow hind legs, he blends right in.
My favorite color to find him in is green.
When he is green he tends to have bright turquoise specs on his skin. (I do not alter the color for any of these images.)
I don’t think the images due his green color justice, but sometimes he would change faster than I could photograph.
This is what we called “white.”
There is still a bit of green or gray hue present when he is white, but in contrast to his dark color it is very light.
Hard to find him at first!
I hope you enjoyed Petrie, he is back in his natural habitat. But no sooner did we let him go and my daughter found a really tiny gray tree frog. We will probably keep her around for a photo op or two. Here is my girl showing off Petrie. This gives you an idea of how big Petrie is.
Thanks for joining me on my A to Z Blog Challenge!