Green and Golden Bell Frog
© 2004 Graeme R. Gillespie (1 of 11)
Reproductively mature males have thumbs that are swollen through the development of nuptial pads (Pyke 1999). Males range from 57 to 69 mm, while females range from 65 to 108 mm in length. Larvae are large at metamorphosis, with a high tail fin and heavy pigmentation, typical of Litoria (Barker et al. 1995).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Australia. Introduced: New Caledonia, New Zealand, Vanuatu.
Prefers freshwater habitat, where the water bodies are still, shallow, unshaded, ephemeral, and unpolluted (Pyke and White 1996). Inhabited water bodies are generally isolated and free of native fish species. Individuals disperse and forage over large areas, and diverse terrestrial habitats. Emergent aquatic vegetation, such as reeds and rushes, furnish foraging and basking habitat, and nearby grassy areas provide the principal feeding ground (Pyke 1999).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Tadpole diet includes bacteria, algae and organic detritus, while adult frogs feed on almost anything, including insects and other frogs (Pyke 1990). In short, the frogs are a voracious, cannibalistic species.
Their deep growling call has been described as a slow gutteral four-part 'craw-awk, crawk, crok, crok' (Cogger 1996).
Trends and Threats
The most probable causes for decline include habitat fragmentation, drainage alteration, and the introduction of predatory fish. A number of studies have shown correlation between L. aurea declines and the increasing distribution of Gambusia holbrooki (the "Mosquito Fish"), a native to North America that was introduced to control mosquito larvae. Morgan and Buttemer (1996) conducted laboratory experiments which demonstrated the high susceptibility of L. aurea tadpoles to predation by G. holbrooki, particularly small, newly hatched tadpoles. UVB experimentation (van de Mortel and Buttemer 1996) has not demonstrated any significant susceptibility of L. aurea to radiation exposure.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Barker, J., Grigg, G. C., and Tyler, M. J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, New South Wales.
Cogger, H. G. (1996). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books Australia, Port Melbourne.
Medway, L. and Marshall, A. G. (1975). ''Terrestrial vertebrates of the New Hebrides: origin and distribution.'' Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B., 272, 423-65.
Morgan, L. A., and Buttemer, W. A. (1996). ''Predation by the non-native fish Gambusia holbrooki on small Litoria aurea and L. dentata tadpoles.'' Australian Zoologist, 30(2), 143-149.
Pyke, G. H. (1999). ''Green and Golden Bell Frog.'' Nature Australia, 26(4), 50-59.
Pyke, G. H. and White, A. W. (1996). ''Habitat requirements for the Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea (Anura: Hylidae).'' Australian Zoologist, 30(2), 224-232.
Van De Mortel, T. F., and Buttemer, W. A. (1996). ''Are Litoria aurea eggs more sensitive to ultraviolet-B radiation than eggs of sympatric L. peronii or L. dentata?'' Australian Zoologist, 30(2), 150-157.
White, A. W. and Pyke, G. H. (1996). ''Distribution and conservation status of the Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea in New South Wales.'' Australian Zoologist, 30(2), 177-189.
Written by J-M. Hero; W. Osborne; R. Goldingay; K. McCray; L. Shoo; M. (m.hero AT mailbox.gu.edu.au), Griffith University
First submitted 1999-05-06
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2014-03-05)
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