Species Description: Hiaso & Richards, 2006 Sci. New Guinea, 28: 35.
In life, the dorsum shows a mixture of yellow-brown, olive-green, and red-brown, with yellow-brown pustules. Specimens may also be more olive-green with indistinct purplish-brown markings, or darker brown with pustules less evident. The posterior surfaces of the thigh, groin, and feet are colored brown-purple. Many white pustules are present on the ventral surfaces of the thighs, and the groin area. The chin, chest, and anterior part of the belly are white. The posterior belly is purplish-brown with white granules, and white pustules surround the anus. A few dark purple flecks are found on the jaw margin. The iris of the eye is tan (Kraus 2007).
In preservative, Litoria hilli appears brown on dorsal surfaces, and retains the white patterns on limbs, chest, and abdomen. Hands and feet have prominent purple-brown pigmentation and the iris looks pale, silvery white (Kraus 2007).
This species of tree frog is readily distinguishable from most other Papuan species of the genus Litoria (except L. prora and L. humboldtorum) in having fully webbed hands and a fleshy rostral spike in both sexes. Litoria hilli differs from these species by its larger size, reduced crenelated fringes on arms and legs, absence of heel lappets, brown-green color pattern, low (vs. well-developed) row of pustules on the jaw margin, and having a tan iris (Kraus 2007).
The tadpole has a depressed and elongated body. Snout is rounded, acutely in lateral view and more broadly in dorsal view. Nares are small and directed anteroventrally. Eyes are dorsolateral and oriented laterally. Oral disc of older tadpoles has marginal papillae in unbroken rows (1-2 anterolateral rows, 2-3 lateral rows, 2-4 posterior rows) and lateral submarginal papillae, and is not emarginate. Labial tooth row formula 2(2)/3, with a small A2 gap. Strongly keratinized, serrated jaw sheaths, with that of the upper jaw slightly curved and that of the lower jaw slightly V-shaped. Tadpole mouthparts are identical to those of L. humboldtorum. Spiracle sinistral and ventrolateral. Vent tube is lacking, with the cloacal aperture flush with the posterior body wall except for the slightly protruding swollen margins of the cloaca. Tails are long and have high fins (Kraus 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Papua New Guinea
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Litoria hilli lays its eggs on leaves overhanging small pools. Clutches consist of gelatinous egg masses of 4-46 individual eggs, with each egg encased in a single-layer capsule. Tadpoles were collected from a pig wallow on a ridge at 240m asl on Sudest Island (Kraus 2007).
Kraus, F. (2007). ''A new species of treefrog of the genus Litoria (Hylidae) from the Louisiade Islands, Papua New Guinea.'' Herpetologica, 63, 365-374.
Written by Henry Zhu (babydragon AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
First submitted 2014-01-27
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2014-01-27)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2014 Litoria hilli <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6988> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 22, 2019.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Apr 2019.
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