News Release Archive

Peepsicles will wake up to a well-thawed out new name ...

Nova Scotia's Spring Peeper had its name changed while it was in
winter hibernation. Will it still sound the same when it defrosts
in the spring? Be a frogwatcher and find out.

The tiny frog species whose piercing calls are one of the surest
signs of spring in Nova Scotia will now go by another name, at
least when its discussed by scientists.

Though most of us will still call it the Northern Spring Peeper,
its scientific name (the unique name given to every species in
the biological world) has been changed to Pseudacris, which shows
its closer family ties to chorus frogs. But it will keep the
second part of its name, crucifer, for the dark X-shape which
occurs on its back. Its full scientific name is now Pseudacris
crucifer crucifer. (CCT)

Biological scientists change the names of organisms as more about
the similarities and differences between species become known.
Changing the name has brought the Northern Spring Peeper into the
fold of two other Canadian species, the Western and Boreal Chorus
Frogs which range from southern Quebec to the Prairies.

The Northern Spring Peeper still holds on to its unique
characteristic among Nova Scotia frogs of having noticeable
sticky pads on it toes and a penchant for climbing trees, which
it has in common with the tree frogs (Hyla) species with which it
was formerly classed.

The name change is not likely to affect the behaviour of the
frog, which is likely to be greeting Spring as usual in late
March to early April throughout Nova Scotia. Frogwatch, a program
of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History is currently
registering volunteers across the province to listen for and
report when the peeps begin in their area. Last year's Frogwatch
was a resounding success both in terms of reports and


Contact: Sue Browne  902-424-3727

NOTE TO EDITORS: Graphics are available by contacting Sue Browne
at the museum.

trp                     Feb. 12, 1997 - 1:50 p.m.