Hyla arenicolor

Canyon Treefrog, Hyla arenicolor (aka Dryophytes arenicolor)
Middle Fork of Percha Creek, East of Kingston
July 10, 2017


Canyon Treefrog range from IUCN

Some years we have Canyon Treefrogs, Hyla arenicolor, in our water pots in Hillsboro.  We harvest rain water and there are numerous water pots around the place, lots of “habitat”.  When they are here, and they do not appear to be here every year, it is not unusual to find them sitting below a dripping downspout enjoying the occasional shower.

They are generally found near water.  Other than that, they appear to live in a variety of habitats, from the edge of the desert to the mixed forests of the mountains.  They feed on small invertebrates.  This species is one of the burrowing frogs, typically burrowing underground to avoid cold weather.

In the United States they are primarily found in New Mexico and Arizona (but are also found in parts of Utah, Colorado, and Texas).  In Mexico, their range extends southward from  the US border to Oaxaca.  The range map shown here is courtesy of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). 

Their skin coloration tends to match their surroundings so it can vary considerably.  It is a small species, adults rarely exceed 2.5" in length.  

The calls of this species may be heard at California Herps.  Another excellent source of information on this species is DesertUSA.

Edward D. Cope gave the species its current scientific name, listing it in the 1866 (Volume 18) Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, p. 301 - "On the Reptila and Batrachia of the Sonoran Province of the Nearctic Region".  Spencer F. Baird first described the species in 1854, as Hyla affinis (Volume 7) Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, p. 61 of "Descriptions of New Genera and Species of North American Frogs" (copy below).  Baird was a renowned American naturalist and was the first curator of the Smithsonian Institution.  His contributions to the understanding of the natural history of North America can not be overstated.

Hyla affinis


The following photographs were taken in Hillsboro, New Mexico.



© Robert Barnes 2018