Congratulations to Erin Talmage for winning the August 2023 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Her adorable photo of a young Gray Treefrog (or perhaps Treefroglet?) received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.
Late summer is the best time of year in Vermont to be on the lookout for teeny-tiny recently metamorphosed Gray Treefrogs and Spring Peepers. Once they’ve shed their tadpole tail and sprouted legs, these froglets will emerge from the ponds and wetlands they grew up in to explore the surrounding landscape. If you’re out for a walk by your local pond or wetland, keep an eye out for these minuscule amphibians clinging to vegetation with their sticky toe pads. Those who have been lucky enough to see an adult Gray Treefrog will notice that this recently metamorphosed individual does not yet have the gray, warty skin of an adult; in this early stage of development a Gray Treefrog’s skin is mostly smooth and emerald green. In a few weeks though, this little frog will fully grow into its Latin name of Hyla versicolor, becoming a warty, lichen-patterned adult Gray Treefrog with the ability to shift its coloration from whitish to gray to green and black. To learn more about freshly-metamorphosed frogs and see more photos, check out the Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlases latest Herp Update.
Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!