Disclaimer:

The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.




Acris crepitans
Acris crepitans
(Northern Cricket Frog)
Amphibians-Frogs
Native Transplant
Translate this page with Google
Français Deutsch Español Português Russian Italiano Japanese

Copyright Info
Acris crepitans Baird, 1854

Common name: Northern Cricket Frog

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Acris crepitans is a small, warty hylid (treefrog) with a SVL (snout-vent length) of 16-37 mm (5/8 –1.5 in) (Stebbins, 1985; Conant and Collins, 1998).  Toe pads (disks) for climbing are usually tiny or virtually absent in this genus (Conant and Collins, 1998; Powell et al., 1998).  Unlike Acris gryllus, the southern cricket frog, the dark stripe on the rear of the thigh is more ragged, lacking clean borders or blending with dorsal coloration, and there is extensive webbing between the digits on the hind feet (Conant and Collins, 1998; Powell et al., 1998).  Like many small frogs there is a dark triangle between the eyes (Stebbins, 1985; Conant and Collins, 1998).  Dorsal coloration and dark marking vary considerably, with various combinations of black, orange or yellow, on a background of brown or green (Conant and Collins, 1998).  Of the three described subspecies (Frost, 2000), Acris crepitans blanchardi Harper, 1947 (Blanchard's cricket frog), Acris c. crepitans Baird, 1854 (eastern cricket frog), and Acris c. paludicola Burger, Smith and Smith, 1949 (coastal cricket frog); the coastal cricket frog tends to have larger toe pads, smooth skin, and a distinctively pinkish color, while Blanchard's cricket frog is the wartiest, with a tendency towards more uniform coloration and less contrasting patterns (Conant and Collins, 1998).  The call of A. crepitans is a "gick-gick-gick-gick" in succession, like pebbles being clicked together (Vogt, 1981; Stebbins, 1985; Davidson, 1996; Conant and Collins, 1998; Johnson, 2000).  Recordings of the calls of A. crepitans are available on CDs from Elliott (1994a, b), Davidson (1996), Library of Natural Sounds (1996), and Bogert (1998).  The tadpoles are dark olive green with small dark spots, greenish yellow venters (bellies), spotted tails with slight striping on the musculature (Ashton and Ashton, 1988), and in many northern populations, the tail tip is black (Johnson, 2000).

Acris crepitans has been illustrated by many authors (Wright and Wright, 1949; P. Smith, 1961; Mount, 1975; Johnson, 1977, 2000; H. Smith, 1978; Behler and King, 1979; Martof et al., 1980; Vogt, 1981; Froom, 1982; Cook, 1984; Stebbins, 1985; Garrett and Barker, 1987; Green and Pauley, 1987; Ashton and Ashton, 1988; Black and Sievert, 1989; Dundee and Rossman, 1989; Collins, 1993; Degenhardt et al., 1996; Conant and Collins, 1998; Powell et al., 1998; Bartlett and Bartlett, 1999a, b; Hammerson, 1999; Phillips et al., 1999; Hulse et al., 2001; Minton, 2001).

Size: snout vent length of 16-37 mm

Native Range: Acris crepitans is indigenous to southeastern New York (extinct on Long Island), southward to the Florida panhandle while mostly absent in the northern Appalachians and eastern Coastal Plains (with an isolated record in eastern South Carolina), westward through the rest of the Gulf States, portions of northern Coahuila, Mexico, and extreme southeastern New Mexico; throughout the midwestern states and Central Plains states as far west as central Nebraska, extreme eastern Colorado (at least formerly), and southeastern South Dakota, and as far north as southern Minnesota, central Wisconsin, central Michigan, and Point Pelee and Pelee Island in extreme southwestern Ontario, Canada (Martof, 1956; Smith, 1961; Smith and Smith, 1973, 1976, 1993; Harris, 1975; Mount, 1975; Stevenson, 1976; Johnson, 1977, 2000; Martof et al., 1980; Vogt, 1981; Froom, 1982; Lohoefener and Altig, 1983; Cook, 1984; Lynch, 1985; Stebbins, 1985; Tobey, 1985; Garrett and Barker, 1987; Green and Pauley, 1987; Ashton and Ashton, 1988; Moler, 1988; Black and Sievert, 1989; Carpenter and Krupa, 1989; Dundee and Rossman, 1989; Gibbons and Semlitsch, 1991; Collins, 1993; Flores-Villela, 1993; Oldfield and Moriarty, 1994; Casper, 1996; Degenhardt et al., 1996; Harding, 1997; Conant and Collins, 1998; Bartlett and Bartlett, 1999a, b; Duellman and Sweet, 1999; Hammerson, 1999; Phillips et al., 1999; Ballinger et al., 2000; Dixon, 2000; Johnson, 2000; King, 2000; Hulse et al., 2001; Minton, 2001).  A disjunct population of A. c. blanchardi occurs, at least formerly, in northeastern Colorado along the South Platte River (Conant and Collins, 1998; Hammerson, 1999).  A record from 1905 suggests a disjunct population of Blanchard's cricket frog may have inhabited a historical marshy habitat near Douglas, Cochise County, Arizona, but is now extinct (Degenhardt et al., 1996).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Alaska
Hawaii auto-generated map
Hawaii
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Acris crepitans are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Colorado195719571St. Vrain

Table last updated 3/29/2018

† Populations may not be currently present.


Means of Introduction: Unknown.

Status: These nonindigenous A. c. blanchardi maintained a breeding population in Varsity Lake, Colorado, for "several years" until they were extirpated when the lake was drained for maintenance (Maslin in Livo et al., 1998, and in Hammerson, 1999).  As A. crepitans have not been located in indigenous localities in Colorado, since the 1970s, this species may have been entirely extirpated from this state (Hammerson, 1999).

Impact of Introduction: The impact of Blanchard's cricket frog on the ecology of Varsity Lake, Boulder, Colorado, is unknown but probably minimal given the anthropogenic nature of the lake and the rapid extirpation of this population of frogs.

Remarks: The taxonomy of A. crepitans has been summarized by Frost (1985, 2000). Vernacular names used in Mexico are provided by Liner (1994).  The natural history of A. crepitans has been reviewed or summarized by several authors (Vogt, 1981; Ashton and Ashton, 1988; Dundee and Rossman, 1989; Gibbons and Semlitsch, 1991; Degenhardt et al., 1996; Hammerson, 1999; Johnson, 2000; Hulse et al., 2001; Minton, 2001).  Scientific and standard English names follow Crother (2008).

Northern cricket frogs are nonclimbing hylids that include a wide variety of invertebrates in their diet (Dundee and Rossman, 1989; Degenhardt et al., 1996; Johnson, 2000; Minton, 2001).  Their preferred habitats are quiet, relatively permanent waters, especially those with muddy vegetated banks in open country, but they can adapt to other situations (Johnson, 2000; Hulse et al., 2001; Minton, 2001).

The activity of A. crepitans is both nocturnal and diurnal, and may show little seasonality if their aquatic habitat remains unfrozen (Hulse et al., 2001; Minton, 2001).  These diminutive frogs breed in spring or summer; up to 400 eggs are attached to submerged vegetation and other objects, singly or in very small clusters (Wright and Wright, 1949; Bartlett and Bartlett, 1999a; Minton, 2001). Populations of A. crepitans, at one time a greatly abundant frog, are greatly declining in several regions across their indigenous range including Colorado, Nebraska (Republican River), northern Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, West Virginia, New York, and Ontario, Canada (Froom, 1982; Cook, 1984; Oldfield and Moriarty, 1994; Casper, 1996; Harding, 1997; Hammerson, 1999; Phillips et al., 1999; Gray, 2001; Minton, 2001).  They are extinct on Long Island, New York (Conant and Collins, 1998), and also may be extinct in Colorado, most of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada (Oldfield and Moriarty, 1994; Casper, 1996; Hammerson, 1999; Gray, 2001).  This species is listed as endangered in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada; threatened in New York; and a species of special concern in Indiana, Michigan, and West Virginia (Casper, 1996; Ramus, 1998; Gray, 2001).

References: (click for full references)

Ashton, R. E., Jr., and P. S. Ashton. 1988. Handbook of Reptiles and Amphibians of Florida. Part Three. The Amphibians. Windward Publishing, Inc., Miami. 191 pp.

Ballinger, R. E, J. W. Meeker, and M. Thies. 2000. A checklist and distribution maps of the amphibians and reptiles of South Dakota. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 26:29-46.

Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999a. A Field Guide to Florida Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston. 280 pp.

Bartlett, R. D., and P. D. Bartlett. 1999b. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston. 331 pp.

Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 743 pp.

Black, J. H., and G. Sievert. 1989. A Field Guide to Amphibians of Oklahoma. Nongame Wildlife Program, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma City. 80 pp.

Bogert, C. M. 1998. Sounds of North American Frogs. The Biological Significance of Voice in Frogs. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, D.C. Audio CD Recording.

Carpenter, C. C., and J. J. Krupa. 1989. Oklahoma Herpetology. An Annotated Bibliography. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 258 pp.

Casper, G. S. 1996. Geographic Distributions of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Wisconsin. An Interim Report of the Wisconsin Herpetological Atlas Project. Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc., [Milwaukee]. 87 pp.

Collins, J. T. 1993. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. Third Edition, Revised. Museum of Natural History, The University of Kansas, Lawrence. 397 pp.

Conant, R., and J. T. Collins. 1998. A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians. Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition, Expanded. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 616 pp.

Cook, F. R. 1984. Introduction to Canadian Amphibians and Reptiles. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa. 200 pp.

Crother, B.I. (chair). Committee on Standard and English and Scientific Names. 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and  Reptiles Herpetological Circular. No. 37. iii + 86p.

Davidson, C. 1996. Frog and Toad Calls of the Rocky Mountains. Vanishing Voices. Library of Natural Sounds, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca. Audio CD Recording.

Degenhardt, W. G., C. W. Painter, and A. H. Price. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. 419 pp.

Dixon, J. R. 2000. Amphibians and Reptiles of Texas. Second Edition. Texas A & M University Press, College Station. 421 pp.

Duellman, W. E., and S. S. Sweet. 1999. Distribution patterns of amphibians in the Nearctic Region of North America. Pp. 31-109. In: W. E. Duellman (editor). Patterns of Distribution of Amphibians. A Global Perspective. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 633 pp.

Dundee, H. A., and D. A. Rossman. 1989. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London. 300 pp + unattached erratum.

Elliott, L. 1994a. The Calls of Frogs and Toads. NatureSound Studio, NorthWood Press, Inc., Minocqua, Wisconsin. Audio CD Recording.

Elliott, L. 1994b. A Guide to Night Sounds. NatureSound Studio, NorthWood Press, Inc., Minocqua, Wisconsin. Audio CD Recording.

Flores-Villela, O. 1993. Herpetofauna Mexicana. Carnegie Museum of Natural History Special Publication (17):i-iv, 1-73.

Froom, B. 1982. Amphibians of Canada. McClelland and Stewart Limited, Toronto. 120 pp.

Frost, D. R. (editor). 1985. Amphibian Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographical Reference. Allen Press, Inc. and The Association of Systematics Collections. Lawrence, Kansas. 732 pp.

Frost, D. [R.] (compiler). 2000. Anura­—frogs. Pp. 6-17. In: B. I. Crother (chair), and Committee on Standard English and Scientific Names (editors). Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular (29):i-iii, 1-82.

Garrett, J. M., and D. G. Barker. 1987. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Texas. Texas Monthly Press, Austin. 225 pp.

Gibbons, J. W., and R. D. Semlitsch. 1991. Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of the Savannah River Site. The University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia, and London. 131 pp.

Gray, R. H. 2001. Cricket frog, Acris crepitans, malformations in Illinois: Past and present. Herpetological Natural History 8(1):75-77.

Green, N. B., and T. K. Pauley. 1987. Amphibians and Reptiles in West Virginia. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh. 241 pp.

Hammerson, G. A. 1999. Amphibians and Reptiles in Colorado. Second Edition. University Press of Colorado, Niwot, Colorado. 484 pp.

Harding, J. H. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. 378 pp.

Harris, H. S., Jr. 1975. Distributional survey (Amphibia/Reptilia): Maryland and the District of Columbia. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society 11(3):73-167.

Hulse, A. C., C. J. McCoy, and E. Censky. 2001. Amphibians and Reptiles of Pennsylvania and the Northeast. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca. 419 pp.

Johnson, T. R. 1977. The amphibians of Missouri. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (6):i-x, 1-134.

Johnson, T. R. 2000. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri. Revised and Expanded Second Edition. Missouri Department of Conservation, Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, Jefferson City. 400 pp.

King, F. W. 2000. Florida Museum of Natural History's Checklist of Florida Amphibians and Reptiles [online]. Available on URL: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herps/FL-GUIDE/Flaherps.htm. Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Library of Natural Sounds. 1996. Voices of the Night. The Calls of the Frogs and Toads of Eastern North America. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca. Audio CD Recording.

Liner, E. A. 1994. Scientific and common names for the amphibians and reptiles of Mexico in English and Spanish. Nombres científicos y comunes en Ingles y Españole de los anfibios y los reptiles de México. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular (23):i-vi, 1-113.

Livo, L. J., G. A. Hammerson, and H. M. Smith. 1998. Summary of amphibians and reptiles introduced into Colorado. Northwestern Naturalist 79(1):1-11.

Lohoefener, R., and R. Altig. 1983. Mississippi herpetology. Mississippi State University Research Center Bulletin (1):i-vi, 1-66.

Lynch, J. D. 1985. Annotated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nebraska. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 23:33-57.

Martof, B. S. 1956. Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia. 94 pp.

Martof, B. S., W. M. Palmer, J. R. Bailey, and J. R. Harrison III. 1980. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 264 pp.

Minton, S. A., Jr. 2001. Amphibians & Reptiles of Indiana. Revised 2nd Edition. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis. 404 pp.

Moler, P. 1988. A Checklist of Florida's Amphibians and Reptiles. Nongame Wildlife Program, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 18 pp.

Mount, R. H. 1975. The Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn. 347 pp.

Oldfield, B., and J. J. Moriarty. 1994. Amphibians & Reptiles Native to Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 240 pp.

Phillips, C. A., R. A. Brandon, and E. O. Moll. 1999. Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois. 282 pp.

Powell, R., J. T. Collins, and E. D. Hooper, Jr. 1998. A Key to Amphibians & Reptiles of the Continental United States and Canada. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence. 131 pp.

Ramus, E. (editor). 1998. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine 1998-1999 Directory. The Herpetology Sourcebook. Ramus Publishing, Inc., Pottsville, Pennsylvania. 254 pp.

Smith, H. M. 1978. A Guide to Field Identification. Amphibians of North America. Golden Press, New York. 160 pp.

Smith, H. M., and R. B. Smith. 1973. Synopsis of the Herpetofauna of Mexico. Volume II. Analysis of the Literature Exclusive of the Mexican Axolotl. John Johnson Natural History Books, North Bennington, Vermont. 367 pp.

Smith, H. M., and R. B. Smith. 1976. Synopsis of the Herpetofauna of Mexico. Volume IV. Source Analysis and Index for Mexican Amphibians. John Johnson, North Bennington, Vermont. 15 pp. + A-G.

Smith, H. M., and R. B. Smith. 1993. Synopsis of the Herpetofauna of Mexico. Volume VII. Bibliographic Addendum IV and Index, Bibliographic Addenda II-IV, 1979-1991. University Press of Colorado, Niwot, Colorado. 1082 pp.

Smith, P. A. 1961. The amphibians and reptiles of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 28(1):[i-v], 1-298. (Reprinted 1986.)

Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.

Stevenson, H. S. 1976. Vertebrates of Florida. Identification and Distribution. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville. 607 pp.

Tobey, F. J. 1985. Virginia's Amphibians and Reptiles: A Distributional Survey. Virginia Herpetological Society, Richmond and Purcellville. 114 pp.

Vogt, R. C. 1981. Natural History of Amphibians and Reptiles in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee. 205 pp.

Wright, A. H., and A. A. Wright. 1949. Handbook of Frogs and Toads of the United States and Canada. Third Edition. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London. 640 pp.

Author: Somma, L.A.

Revision Date: 10/26/2009

Citation Information:
Somma, L.A., 2018, Acris crepitans Baird, 1854: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=52, Revision Date: 10/26/2009, Access Date: 4/20/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logoU.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: https://nas.er.usgs.gov
Page Contact Information: Pam Fuller - NAS Program (pfuller@usgs.gov)
Page Last Modified: Monday, April 16, 2018

Disclaimer:

The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/20/2018].

Additional information for authors