Wild thing Wednesday isn’t off the wall, it’s on the wall. Specifically, the gray treefrogs that are climbing all over the outside of our walls. These photogenic frogs are equipped with sticky toe pads that allow them to cling to just about any surface in the marsh. Equipped for climbing instead of swimming, gray treefrogs love to reside in trees, shrubs, and other foliage, sometimes even paying a milkweed plant a visit. Their small size coupled with excellent camouflage often allow them to remain almost totally undetected even by the most experienced eyes. Often, these treefrogs are heard before they are seen. This can be extra handy, as there are actually two different species of gray treefrog in Wisconsin, the gray treefrog and the copes gray treefrog. They only way to tell them apart in nature is by listening for a difference in their calls. If they stay silent, only a genetic test can tell them apart. Although the two species are identical, sometimes the same frog can look very different from one day to another. Both species of gray treefrog are able to change colors from green to gray, often depending on temperature and humidity. On humid summer nights, these treefrogs often come right up on to the walls of our building. Many insects are attracted to the lights on our facility, and the treefrogs come to feed on them. We are always happy to provide an easy meal for these fun amphibians, and are often just glad to be able to spot them.
Photo Credit: Caleb Jenks