Spring Peepers in Pequot Swamp Pond

No larger than a nickel, Spring Peepers return each Spring to Pequot Swamp Pond to mate and lay their eggs.

No larger than a nickel, Spring Peepers return each Spring to Pequot Swamp Pond to mate and lay their eggs.

Open, marshy areas such as Pequot Swamp Pond are now filled with the sound of Spring Peepers. These frogs are about the size of your thumb, but don’t be fooled by these little guys as they can be quite loud! The males are the only ones that call using a high-pitched “peep” that can be deafening in spring. Many people describe their call as the sound of sleigh bells. Even when I have quietly stood still in a marsh, surrounded by hundreds of calling males, I can rarely spot one. The purpose of their large vocal sac is not to amplify their call, but to make sure it can be heard from all directions. This ventriloquist-trick makes it seem that the calls are coming from everywhere at once. But, the females manage to find them.

Spring peepers are tan or brown in color with a dark X on their back. This cross pattern adds to their Latin name crucifer or cross-bearer. This tiny species has large toe pads for climbing, but is most often found in the leaf litter of the forest floor.

How wonderful that with our saving The Preserve, these little jewels can migrate to and from their breeding sites without the risk of crossing roads, driveways, and chemically treated lawns draining into their breeding grounds.

 

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