Boreal Chorus Frog (formerly considered Western Chorus Frog)

Pseudacris maculata (formerly P. triseriata)

Identification Photo by J. F. Desroches.

The Boreal Chorus Frog is very similar in size and pattern to the Spring Peeper; however, it is brown with three dark longitudinal stripes or rows of spots along its back, in contrast to the Spring Peeper’s dark “X”. Boreal Chorus Frogs have a slight black mask, a white upper lip, and they do not have dorsolateral ridges. They only measure about 1 inch long.

Their ascending call sounds similar to someone running their fingers over the teeth of a comb. It is sometimes confused with the broken call of a Spring Peeper but it sounds tinny and mechanical as opposed to the musical whistle of a Spring Peeper. It has been heard in April and May in Vermont, more commonly in the second half of April, though no one has reported hearing this species in Vermont in many years.

The females lay 500-1,500 eggs in groups of 20-300 in loose gelatinous clusters.

Get more detailed identification and life history information by downloading the chart here.

You can learn more about this species and see some video footage by checking out this clip from our Rattlers, Peepers & Snappers DVD.

Map of Vermont records for Pseudacris maculata

[ click image to zoom | download printable PDF ]

They are found in herbaceous vegetation near heavily-vegetated bodies of water. They also need a shallow open breeding area. They were historically found in Grand Isle and Franklin Counties, but have not been seen or heard since 1999.


This species has a state natural heritage rank of S1 (rare). The Boreal Chorus Frog has been designated a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (high priority) in Vermont’s Wildlife Action Plan and is endangered in Vermont. Please report all sightings of this species in Vermont. Take photos if possible. Even historic sighting information is useful.

Additional Photos

Photo by J. F. Desroches.

More Info

Pseudacris triseriata (Western Chorus Frog) was classified as Pseudacris maculata (Boreal Chorus Frog) in 2007. In Vermont, we decided that what we originally thought was Pseudacris triseriata (Western Chorus Frog) was more likely Pseudacris maculata (Boreal Chorus Frog) based on new genetic work northeast of us in Canada.

Species summary written by Ariel K. McK. Burgess.