© 2004 David M. Green (1 of 4)
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: New Zealand
Aquatic; can be found in shaded creek edges in forest, up to about 800 m altitude. Nocturnal; likes to take shelter in wet cavities under stone and logs by day (Gill and Whitaker 1996).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Defense: Can remain motionless for long periods of time. Does not assume a rigid headbutting stance with raised body and extended legs like L. hamiltoni and L. archeyi; more likely to try to escape in water. Uses double legged "frog-kick" for initial few strokes and then a "dog-paddle" motion (Green 1988).
Reproduction: Amplexus takes place on land, in shallow water, or at the edge of water. Male grips female tightly around the groin immediately anterior to the hind legs. Takes froglets at least 3 to 4 years to reach maturity. In their development, a broad gular fold covers the forelimbs, and the tail fin is well developed (Bell 1978).
Bell, B.D. (1978). ''Observations on the ecology and reproduction of the New Zealand native frogs.'' Herpetologica, 34, 340-354.
Gill, B., and Whitaker, T. (1996). New Zealand Frogs and Reptiles. David Bateman Limited, New Zealand.
Green, D. M. (1988). ''Antipredator behavior and skin glands in the New Zealand native frogs, genus Leiopelma.'' New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 15, 39-46.
Written by Chih Wang (chihwang AT uclink.berkeley.edu), AmphibiaWeb
First submitted 2003-04-22
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