Little Grass Frog
Pseudacris ocularis

Common Name:

Little Grass Frog

Scientific Name:

Pseudacris ocularis



Pseudacris is derived from the Greek words pseudes meaning "false" and akris meaning "locust"


ocularis is Latin meaning "of the eye". Referring to the ocular stripe.

Average Length:

0.4 - 0.6 in. (1.1 - 1.6 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

0.7 in. (1.7 cm)

Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier IV - Moderate Conservation Need - The species may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery. Populations of these species have demonstrated a significant declining trend or one is suspected which, if continued, is likely to qualify this species for a higher tier in the foreseeable future. Long-term planning is necessary to stabilize or increase populations.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This is the smallest frog in North America ranging in size from 11-19 mm (7/16 to 3/4 in). Its dorsal coloration ranges from gray to brown to reddish. A characteristic dark stripe extends from nostril through the eye onto the sides. A dark middorsal stripe is sometimes present. The ventral coloration is yellowish or white *11407* *1014*. The toes are slightly webbed *11407*. This species is sometimes confused with immature Brimley's chorus frogs *1014*.

REPRODUCTION: Few specifics are known about the life history of this species in the northern portion of its range which is southeastern Virginia *11332*. However, general information is available. This species breeds in association with spring and summer rains *1014*. The male's mating call is a tinkling, insect-like "set-see, set-see". Though breeding is typically associated with rains, the calls can be heard throughout the year during warm weather *1014* *11407*. Females deposit approximately 100 eggs singly on the bottom of shallow ponds and in vegetation *1014*. Average egg size is 95 mm. Eggs develop in an average of 3.5 days *11406*. Larval metamorphosis occurs in 45-70 days. The newly transformed frog is typically 7-9 mm in length *11407*.

BEHAVIOR: This species prefers grassy areas near bogs or ponds in pine savannas and pools or streams in hardwood forests and swamps *11407* *1014*. Breeding occurs in association with spring and summer rains. Eggs are laid singly on the bottom of shallow ponds and in vegetation *1014*. Male voice is tinkling and insect-like *1014* *11407*. Climbing is restricted to low vegetation *11407*. This species' principle prey item are small insects *11284*. ORIGIN: Native LIMITING FACTORS: This species apparently requires moist grassy marshes or aquatic edge habitats *11284*.

POPULATION PARAMETERS: Average survival rate for young adult females is 48.8% *11406*.

AQUATIC TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: This species is found near bogs or ponds in pine savannas and pools or streams in hardwood forests and swamps *11407* *1014*. Eggs are laid on the bottom of shallow ponds and in vegetation *1014*. OTHER:

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
  • 11332 - Mitchell, Joseph C. and Karen K. Reay, 1999, Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia, Num. 1, 122 pgs., Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Richmond, VA
  • 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

Chesapeake City
Isle of Wight County
Southampton County
Suffolk City
Surry County
Sussex County
Verified in 6 Counties/Cities.

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