Northern Spring Peeper


Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer crucifer
Size: 0.8 – 1.5” (adult length)
Status: Generally common.
Northern Spring Peeper



Inhabit temporary and permanent ponds, marshes, flooded areas, and ditches during breeding season, after which will disperse into woodlands, old fields, and shrubby areas.

Adult Coloration:

Brown, tan, or gray background with a darker, usually X-shaped, mark on the back. V-shaped mark usually present between eyes, and dark stripe often runs from nostril through the eye to the tympanum (circular “ear” structure on side of head) and sometimes runs down the side of the body. Tops of legs with dark bars. Bottoms of legs and groin yellowish or pinkish. Belly is pale yellow, white, or cream.

Adult Characteristics:

Slightly extended, nearly triangular toe pads. Males slightly smaller and usually darker than females. During breeding season vocal pouch in males visible as speckled brown or greenish loose skin on throat. Voice: High pitched “peep” about once per second. May also voice a low-pitched whistle which is likely a territorial response to another male encroaching on its calling site. e.g.,

Larvae Characteristics:

Tadpoles brown or green with gold flecks on back. Belly lighter and iridescent. Tail fins clear or orangish with black or purple markings on edges.

Scale Count:

17-19 scale rows at midbody

Species Confused With:

Chorus Frogs lack the X-like marking and instead have dark stripes running down the back. Cricket Frogs have rougher skin and a dark stripe on the inside of the upper hindlimbs.


  • Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region by Jim Harding
  • Harding, J.H. and J.A. Holman. 1992. Michigan Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders. MSU Cooperative Extension Service and MSU Museum. Extension Bull. E-2350, 144 pp.
  • Ruthven, A. G., H. B. T. Gaige, et al. 1912. The herpetology of Michigan, by Alexander B. Ruthven. Crystal Thompson and Helen Thompson; Memoranda towards a bibliography of the archaeology of Michigan, by Harlan I. Smith; prepared under the direction of Alexander G. Ruthven. Lansing, Mich., Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford, State Printers.
  • Holman, J. A. 2012. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Michigan: A Quaternary and Recent Faunal Adventure. Detroit, Mich., Wayne State University Press.
  • Conant, R., and Collins, J. T. 1998. Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern, Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Press.