AmphibiaWeb - Litoria iris


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Litoria iris (Tyler, 1962)
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Pelodryadinae
genus: Litoria
Taxonomic Notes: Following the Australian Society of Herpetology, AmphibiaWeb uses Litoria instead of Ranoidea or Dryopsophus (contrary to Dubois and Fretey 2016 and Duellman et al 2016).
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

A small frog, males are 24-36 mm long, females 34-43 mm. Its head is about as broad as long; nostrils are somewhat widely spaced; snout is truncate to slightly pointed in profile. Has large eyes; tympanum commonly visible. Dorsum is usually green but can be green and brown or completely brown, but all are mottled with black or darker green, sometimes with scattered white spots and a white lateral stripe starting from below the eye. Can be divided into four morphotypes: 1. dark green with indistinct black reticulation; 2. pale green with distinct black reticulation; 3. like type 2 but green with brown patches; 4. like type 2 but mostly brown. Has white ventral surface and hind limbs; concealed parts of thighs are purple blotches on white or white and red or white and pale blue; these colors sometimes meet below abdomen and thighs. Groin has a violet patch and often also in the axilla, which is sometimes interrupted by blue or white spots or the patch may extend along the side of the body between dorsal green and ventral white (Menzies 1993).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Indonesia, Papua New Guinea

Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Distribution: Star Mountains west of Irian Jaya-Papua New Guinea border to Okapa in Eastern Highlands Province; altitudes between 1200-2900 m (Menzies 1993).

Abundantly found in roadside ditches and drainage ditches around airfields. Also can be found around shallow pools and swamps in forests. Population abundance possibly caused by increase in available habitat by construction of drainage ditches, around which short vegetation grows (Menzies 1993).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Reproduction: Breeding takes place in ditches, swamps, small creeks, or forest pools. Eggs are rather large, few in quantity, and placed in small groups on vegetation above water surface; newly laid eggs are pale brown on upperside and greenish yellow on lower side. Tadpoles do not hatch until a somewhat late stage of development, about two weeks later, when they fall into the water (Menzies 1975).

Call: Consists of irregular, short series of 1-10 notes (usually less than 6); length of notes range from short clicks to long notes (0.03-0.55 s). Longer notes sound like a buzz with hardly any musical quality. Amplitude of notes generally rises and then cut off sharply. Most are concentrated around 1500-3000 Hz (Menzies 1993).

The iris refers to a rainbow and its multicolored appearance.


Menzies, J. I. (1975). Handbook of Common New Guinea Frogs. Wau Ecology Institute, Papua New Guinea.

Menzies, J. I. (1993). ''Systematics of Litoria iris (Anura: Hylidae) and its allies in New Guinea and a note on sexual dimorphism in the group.'' Australian Journal of Zoology, 41, 225-255.

Originally submitted by: Chih Wang (first posted 2003-05-13)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2003-05-14)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2003 Litoria iris <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 24, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 24 Jun 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.