Pseudacris maculata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Hylidae

Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
Species Authority: (Agassiz, 1850)
Common Name(s):
English Boreal Chorus Frog
Pseudacris triseriata (Agassiz, 1850) subspecies maculata
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.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-08-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Sharp, D. & Hobin, L.
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of sub-populations and localities, large population size and use of a wide range of habitats.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

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).
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan); United States (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: 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.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

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).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): 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 [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
Many occurrences are in national parks and other protected areas.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.11. Wetlands (inland) - Alpine Wetlands (includes temporary waters from snowmelt)
suitability: Marginal season: resident 
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.2. Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.7. Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels)
suitability: Marginal season: resident 
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.8. Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.9. Artificial/Aquatic - Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches
suitability: Suitable season: resident 

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Crother, B. I., J. Boundy, J. A. Campbell, K. de Queiroz, D. R. Frost, R. Highton, J. B. Iverson, P. A. Meylan, T. W. Reeder, M. E. Seidel, J. W. Sites, Jr., T. W. Taggart, S. G. Tilley, and D. B. Wake. 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Degenhardt, W.G., Painter, C.W. and Price, A.H. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Faivovich, J., Haddad, C.F.B., Garcia, P.C.O., Frost, D.R., Campbell, J.A. and Wheeler, W.C. 2005. Systematic review of the frog family Hylidae, with special reference to Hylinae: Phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 294: 1-240.

Hammerson, G.A. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles in Colorado. Second edition. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Lemmon, E.M., A.R. Lemmon, J.T. Collins, and D.C. Cannatella. 2008. A new North American chorus frog species (Pseudacris: Hylidae: Amphibia) from the south-central United States. Zootaxa 1675: 1-30.

Lemmon, E. M., A. R. Lemmon, J. T. Collins, J. A. Lee-Yaw, and D. C. Cannatella. 2007. Phylogeny-based delimitation of species boundaries and contact zones in the trilling chorus frogs (Pseudacris). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 44: 1068-1082.

Moriarty, E. C., and D. C. Cannatella. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships of the North American chorus frogs (Pseudacris: Hylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 30: 409-420.

Stebbins, R.C. 2003. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Pseudacris maculata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T136004A78906835. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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