Ben here with the Wednesday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & ...

Ben here with the Wednesday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & ...

Ben here with the Wednesday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!

Here's the number three pick in our countdown of Virginia's rarest frogs and toads: Hyla gratiosa, the barking treefrog!

The barking treefrog gets its name from its distinctive call (although to my ears, it sounds more like someone honking the horn of a tiny clown car than a bark, but I guess this is why they don't let me name animals).

Like the little grass frog that we looked at yesterday, this species can be found throughout the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, although there are also isolated populations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware, and southern New Jersey. This suggests that the species was probably once more widespread and its range has diminished over time. While this species is fairly common in some states (North Carolina, for example), it's considered threatened in Virginia and can be pretty difficult to find.

If you find yourself in southeast Virginia and want to find a barking treefrog, the adults can be found in trees and shrubs. They also burrow into damp sand under logs near ponds. Keep your eyes peeled!

Thank you to the Virginia Herpetological Society ( for the use of this photo, which was taken by Jason Gibson.

ABOUT #BenInNature
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust.

If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!

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