Southern Cricket Frog
Acris gryllus

Common Name:

Southern Cricket Frog  

Scientific Name:

Acris gryllus



Acris is derived from the Greek words acr which means "sharp" and is meaning "equal".


gryllus is derived from the Greek words gryll which means "a cricket".


Average Length:

0.6 - 1 in. (1.6 - 2.5 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This cricket frog is slightly smaller and more slender than the eastern cricket frog, Acris crepitans crepitans. It reaches a length of 16-32 mm (0.5-1.5 in). The snout is more pointed, and the hind legs are longer than in the eastern variety *1014* *11407*. There is less webbing between the toes--the first toe is partially free of webbing, and the last 3 joints on the 4th or longest toe are free *11407*. This species also has a distinct narrow black stripe on the back of its thigh *1014* *11407*.

REPRODUCTION: This species breeds in late spring and summer, anytime between February and October, dependent upon the rains *1014* *11407*. Male mating call resembles a rattle or metal clicker with a "glick, glick, glick" repeating in rapid succession *11407*. Females lay approximately 150 eggs at a time and may lay more than one complement per year. Eggs and tadpoles are similar in size and character to those of the eastern cricket frog *1014*.

BEHAVIOR: This species is abundant along grassy margins of semi-permanent ponds, streams, or ditches *1014* *11284*. It prefers more open-canopied forests of pine-hardwoods, pinelands, gum swamps, and others *11284*. It is found mostly in the lowlands of the Coastal Plain including bogs, ponds, and river bottom swamps. It will follow river valleys into more upland areas *11407*. Its diet is composed mainly of small insects, spiders, and other arthropods *1014* *11284*. This species has been shown to possess the ability to orient to stellar patterns or to the moon during migrations *11406*.

ORIGIN: Native

LIMITING FACTORS: This species is chiefly found in lowland, wetland areas of the Coastal Plain *11407*. It requires shallow water with emergent or shoreline grassy vegetation *11284*.


AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: This species is abundant along grassy borders of semi-permanent ponds, streams and ditches *1014*. It is found in Coastal Plain bogs, ponds and river bottom swamps *11407*.

References for Life History

  • 1014 - Martof, B.S., Palmer, W.M., Bailey, J.R., Harrison, III J.R., 1980, Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 264 pgs., UNC Press, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 11284 - Wilson, L.A., 1995, Land manager's guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the South, 360 pp. pgs., The Nature Conservancy, Southeastern Region, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 11406 - Duellman, William E. and, Trueb, Linda, 1986, Biology of Amphibians, 671 pgs., The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
  • 11407 - Conant, Roger and, Collins, John T., 1998, Peterson Field Guide: Reptiles and Amphibians, Eastern/Central North America, 616 pgs., Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston


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Verified County/City Occurrence

Brunswick County
Chesapeake City
Chesterfield County
Dinwiddie County
Greensville County
Hampton City
Isle of Wight County
James City County
Mecklenburg County
Middlesex County
Portsmouth City
Prince George County
Southampton County
Suffolk City
Surry County
Sussex County
Virginia Beach City
York County
Verified in 18 Counties/Cities.

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