Pseudacris maculata
Boreal Chorus Frog
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Hylinae

© 2011 Michael Graziano (1 of 10)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Canada, United States


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

Range includes large areas of Canada and the western and north-central United States from the Great Bear Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories to northern Ontario, southward to Arizona, New Mexico, northern Oklahoma, Missouri (possibly northern Arkansas), and Illinois; disjunctly also in southern Ontario, southern Quebec, northern New York, and northwestern Vermont (Conant and Collins 1991, Stebbins 2003, Lemmon et al. 2007). Elevational range extends to above 12,000 feet (3,670 meters) in Colorado and Utah (Hammerson 1999, Stebbins 2003).

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat is mostly the vicinity of nonflowing bodies of water and associated wetlands and meadows; sometimes these frogs cross up to a few hundred meters of upland habitat between wetlands, and they may overwinter in upland sites adjacent to wetlands; periods of inactivity may be spent in water, among thick wetland vegetation, under objects on the ground, or in rodent burrows (Hammerson 1999). Breeding sites include marshes, rain pools, glacial kettle ponds, snow-melt pools, bog ponds, marshy edges of lakes and reservoirs, flooded areas, and other bodies of water with little or no current; breeding pools may be temporary or permanent, and they usually contain aquatic or wetland plants or submerged terrestrial vegetation (Hammerson 1999).


This species is represented by a very large number of sub-populations. Many occurrences have good viability.

Total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000 and presumably exceeds 1,000,000.

Area of occupancy, number of sub-populations, and population size probably have declined somewhat over the long term, especially in the southeastern portion of the range where habitat change has been most extensive, but the extent of decline may not exceed 25%.

Current trend is not well documented, but area of occupancy, number of sub-populations, and population size probably are declining at a rate of less than 10 percent over 10 years or three generations.

Population Trend


Major Threats

No major threats are known, but locally some sub-populations are likely to be declining as a result of conversion of habitat for human related activities such as small scale agriculture and development of residential areas.

Conservation Actions


Taxonomic Notes

A molecular phylogeny of Pseudacris based on mtDNA data (Moriarty and Cannatella 2004) revealed four strongly supported clades within Pseudacris: (1) A West Coast Clade containing regilla and cadaverina, (2) a Fat Frog Clade including ornata, streckeri, and illinoensis, (3) a Crucifer Clade consisting of crucifer and ocularis, and (4) a Trilling Frog Clade containing all other Pseudacris. Within the Trilling Frog Clade, brimleyi and brachyphona form the sister group to the Nigrita Clade: nigrita, feriarum, triseriata, kalmi, clarkii, and maculata. The Nigrita Clade shows geographic division into three clades: (1) populations of maculata and triseriata west of the Mississippi River and Canadian populations, (2) southeastern United States populations of feriarum and nigrita, and (3) northeastern United States populations of feriarum, kalmi, and triseriata. Moriarty and Cannatella (2004) found that subspecific epithets for crucifer (crucifer and bartramiana) and nigrita (nigrita and verrucosa) are uninformative, and they therefore discouraged recognition of these subspecies. They concluded that further study is needed to determine if illinoensis warrants status as a distinct species. Molecular data were consistent with retention of regilla, cadaverina, ocularis, and crucifer in the genus Pseudacris.

Using mtDNA samples from a large number of localities throughout North America, Lemmon et al. (2007) elucidated the phylogenetic relationships and established the geographic ranges of the trilling chorus frogs (Pseudacris). They redefined the ranges of several taxa, including P. maculata, P. triseriata, and P. feriarum; found strong evidence for recognizing P. kalmi as a distinct species; and discovered a previously undetected species in the south-central United States (now known as P. fouquettei). Based on mtDNA data, Pseudacris maculata and P. clarkii did not emerge as distinct, monophyletic lineages but, given the degree of morphological and behavioral divergence between the taxa, Lemmon et al. (2007) chose to recognize them as separate species, until further data suggest otherwise.


IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Pseudacris maculata. In: IUCN 2014


IUCN Terms of Use