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Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi)
Life History & Michigan History
The Blanchard's cricket frog is a small (approx. 1 inch length), warty-skinned member of the tree frog family. They are usually brown or grayish with darker banding on their legs and often have a dark triangular mark between the eyes.
Photo © Jim Harding
Numbers of this species have declined drastically in recent years. They are found in the southern and western Lower Peninsula, inhabiting open, muddy or marshy edges of permanent ponds, lakes, bogs, floodplain ponds, and slow-moving streams and rivers.
Cricket frogs usually emerge from hibernation in late March to early April and breed from mid-May to mid-July. During the breeding season, males give a distinctive, metallic clicking call, similar to the sound made when
two pebbles are tapped together. The female lays eggs singly or in small clusters, which transform into tadpoles in late summer.
Blanchard's cricket frogs were once abundant in southern Michigan, but during the late 1970s and early 1980s, many populations in Michigan and the Great Lakes basin declined dramatically or disappeared. Possible reasons include habitat loss from development and vegetational succession, pesticides or other chemical contaminants, and competition with other frog species. It currently is listed as a species of special concern in Michigan. Please report any sightings of this frog to your local DNR office.
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