The boreal chorus frog is three-quarters to one and one-quarter inches in length. It is normally green, red-brown, gray or brown with three stripes on the back that may not be continuous. The stripes may be hard to see. The belly is plain and either light brown or white. There is a dark band that starts on the snout and continues through and past the eye. In appearance, it is very similar to the western chorus frog, Pseudacris triseriata, but its legs are shorter. The legs are so short that this species can only make short hops when moving.
The boreal chorus frog can be found in all of Illinois except the southeastern one-fourth of the state. Although usually found in shallow ponds, wetlands and other water bodies without a current, individuals of this species may live in grasslands, meadows, urban areas and forests in summer. Its call is “prreep, prreep” and sounds much like that of the western chorus frog. Breeding occurs from late February through April. A single female can lay from 500-1,500 eggs. She deposits them in clusters of from 20-300. The tadpoles metamorphose in June or July. The adults tend to stay close to the breeding pond year-round and can be found under rocks, logs and leaf litter or in animal burrows where they also hibernate. These frogs eat small invertebrates.