apiary creatures

Flowers are for sharing

This year my backyard and garden have been inundated by tiny Pacific tree frogs, Pseudacris regilla. I have found them on the side of my house, on leaves, flowers, tomatoes, or anywhere else they can sit and bask in the sun. This one was happy to share its perch on a dahlia with a honey bee. Frogs eat small invertebrates, so perhaps the influx of frogs is responsible for the paucity of small bees this year. But as you can see, these frogs are not much bigger than a honey bee and it seems they don’t consider each other a threat.

The voice-over specialists

Their skin color can vary from green to tan, and they usually have a black stripe running through each eye. They make an awesome sound that is very loud for their size. According to the Audubon Society, these are the frogs that are used in the movies when authentic (or creepy) nighttime sounds are needed. Plus, I just learned that this frog is the state amphibian of Washington. Till now, I didn’t know we had a state amphibian.

Flowers are for sharing with Pacific tree frogs.

Honey bees were coming and going while this frog enjoyed the sun. © Rusty Burlew.

Frog on a dahlia leaf.

Eventually the dahlia frog hopped over to a leaf. © Rusty Burlew.

Frog on lamb's ear leaf.

This frog is sitting on a lamb’s ear leaf in the shade of a catmint flower. © Rusty Burlew.

Frog on wet lamb's ear leaf.

Many frogs collect on the morning dew captured by the hairy leaves of lamb’s ear. © Rusty Burlew.

Frog squeezed between siding boards.

Some mornings I will see nearly a dozen frogs squeezed between the siding boards on my house. © Rusty Burlew.

Frog crawling up wall.

Sometimes they crawl up the wall to re-position themselves. © Rusty Burlew.


  • Very cool! Lovely photos.

    Funny how often someone interested in apiology often is also interested in herpetology.

  • Frogs are a favorite of mine too! In growing up in Florida we saw them, all the time, thick in the grass. And when it rained hard (a “frog-strangler”, we called it) they ended up meeting their demise on the roads 🙁

    I miss them. Not the squished ones, but seeing them bouncing through the yard. And scaring my mother when they misjudged their distance. 😀

  • Jewels on the flowers and siding! In Minnesota we have toads with skin like tree bark. Plain old. I have a fat one living under a holey log, over an ant hill loaded with larvae. She’s nonplussed when she sees me, or maybe too full to leap.

  • Hi Rusty,

    Love the story. Love the frog. It’s name was changed to Pseudacris regilla in 1986.
    I like the sound of Hyla much better, and it was the first one I learned too!

    • Charles,

      1986? Talk about being out of touch! Too many hours with my head in a bee hive, I suppose. Thanks. I fixed it.

    • Jesslyn,

      Really? In the early spring, around March, you can’t hear yourself think for all the racket they make. I love them!

  • Years ago we stayed in a cottage in Hawaii. There were VERY noisy tiny frogs under the cottage. I wonder if they were the same frogs?

    Great photos.


  • Oh wow! We just saw one in Sammamish, WA a couple days ago! I haven’t seen one in years! We have a state amphibian – neat!! That’s great that you have so many! I’m going to increase the low watering stations and see if I can attract more. We weren’t sure what kind it was because ours looks like the one in your last picture (mostly bright green) and the book showed it like the top picture. But then a little later it looked darker! Do you think your pictures are of different varieties or different ages or the same frog on a different day? Very cool!!

    • Kim,

      I’ve heard they can change colors. We have them all over the place, dozens and dozens. Most are bright green, but they range from yellow to orange to tan and brown and all shades of green. They are so cute!

      Did you ever get my question about dog food?

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