The frog pictured here is a Green Tree Frog, Hyla cinerea. I was visiting the Fort Worth Nature Center and Reserve on a cool spring morning in 2012 and found this little guy on a sedge leaf growing on the edge of a marsh. These frogs are found throughout the southern U. S. and Fort Worth is on the western edge of their range. I felt very lucky to see this little fellow because they are usually in the canopy of southern forests far from the ground. This frog was about 2 inches long and about an inch wide. The coloration here is typical for this species but their color can vary from yellowish to dull greenish to slate gray depending on the time of year and their activity. This little fellow was pointed out to me by a fellow hiker and was so well camouflaged I would have walked right by him and missed the chance to take his picture. I have seen this species in its natural environment only once in my lifetime.
This frog belongs to the family Hylidae. This is a diverse group that contains over 450 species and are distributed world wide. As a group, they are slim-waisted, long-limbed, and small in size. Females are generally larger than the males. In North America, members of this family include tree frogs, chorus frogs, and cricket frogs. Most folks learn that these creatures live in their area and learn to recognize their calls as evidence of their presence. The males of each species of these frogs have unique sounds they make to attract potential mates which make the night time forests musical places in the spring time. All frogs have to lay their eggs in water where they hatch and develop for a time as tadpoles, eventually becoming frogs which return to the environments where the adults live. I was lucky that I happened to be there when this individual was heading back to his treetop home.