Females 47-60mm SVL, males 32-45mm SVL, metamorphs around 9-11mm. Finger discs much larger than toe discs. Maxillary and vomerine teeth present. Dorsal colour highly variable ranging from light creamy gray through to browns, tans, oranges, brilliant yellow to greenish gray (no true greens). Hourglass or X shaped dark markings between the shoulders and the eyes may be present. A thin, white vertebral stripe is sometimes present, occasionally may have broad yellow vertebral stripes. Ventral surface usually whitish. Reproductively mature individuals have bright yellow flash inside groin and thigh. Hind limbs with dark crossbars.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Fiji
Endemic to Fiji. Has been recorded from the wetter, eastern islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Ovalau. Found in lowland rainforest, upland rainforest and agricultural land. Often found in Pandanus, banana trees, birds nest ferns and the common lily Collospermum montanum. At night is often found on streamside vegetation including ferns such as Tectaria latifolia and T. vitiensis (ota loa).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Adults are found year round with peaks in activity and abundance in the wetter months between November and April. Metamorphs and juveniles are also found year round with peaks in late March-August. Breeding can occur year round but occurs primarily between December-March with a peak in late February-late March. Amplexus is inguinal and approximately 20-40 large white eggs are laid in the axils of a number of plants including Pandanus, birds nest ferns and common lilies. There is no tadpole stage and eggs develop directly into froglets after 4-5 weeks. One of the few frog species in the world where both sexes call. Females lack a vocal sac and have a simpler call than the male (a double tap-drip sound repeated at regular intervals). Good swimmers and evasive jumpers. Nearly always twists in the air so as to land facing a different direction. Consequently they often evade capture as the next leap is often a 90o or even 180o from the direction expected. Generally darker in colour during the day to blend in with decaying vegetation found in the axils of the plants in which they shelter. When emerging at night they are generally paler and some shade of brown, green or yellow. Are insectivorous.
Trends and Threats
The principle threat is deforestation. May be threatened by mongoose, rats, cats and Pacific boas (Candoia bibroni). However, due to arboreal nature, not as severely affected as P. vitianus.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Boistel, R. and Sueur, J. (1997). ''Comportment sonore de la femelle de Platymantis vitiensis (Amphibia, Anura) en l’absence du male.'' Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, Paris Sciences de la Vie, 320, 933-941.
Gibbons, J. R. H. and Guinea, M. L (1983). ''Observations on the development of the Fiji treefrog, Platymantis vitiensis.'' Herpetofauna, 14(2), 83-86.
Gorham, S. W. (1968). ''Fiji's frogs; life history and data from field work.'' Zoologische Beitraege, 14, 427-446.
Gorham, S. W. (1971). ''Field identification of Fiji's frogs.'' Fiji Agricultural Journal, 33, 31-33.
Morrison, C. (2003). A Field Guide to the Herpetofauna of Fiji. Institute of Applied Sciences, University of the South Pacific, Fiji.
Pernetta, J. C., and Golding, B. (1977). ''Botaniviti: the elusive Fijian frogs.'' Australian Natural History, 18, 434-437.
Ryan, P. A. (1984). ''Fiji amphibia.'' Domodomo, 2(2), 87-98.
Ryan, P. A. (2000). Fiji's Natural Heritage. Exisle Publishing, New Zealand.
Originally submitted by: Clare Morrison (first posted 2004-02-02)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2004-02-27)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2004 Cornufer vitiensis: Fiji Tree Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4921> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 5, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 5 Dec 2023.
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