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White-lipped tree frog
- This article is about the Melanesian/Australian species. For the Asian white-lipped tree frog, see Polypedates leucomystax.
The white-lipped tree frog (Litoria infrafrenata), also known as the giant tree frog, is the world's largest tree frog. This species is native to the rainforests of Northern Queensland, New Guinea, the Bismarck Islands, and the Admiralty Islands.
The white-lipped tree frog can reach a length of over 13 cm (5.1 in). Females are larger than males, and the males usually reach only 10 cm (3.9 in). Its dorsal surface is usually bright green, although the colour changes depending on the temperature and background, and can be brown. The ventral surface is off-white. The lower lip has a distinctive white stripe (giving this species its name), which continues to the shoulder. The white stripes on the trailing edges of the lower leg may turn pink in the breeding male. The white-lipped tree frog has large toe pads, which aid it to climb. The toes are completely webbed, and the hands are partially webbed.
Ecology and behaviour
The white-lipped tree frog is distributed in Australia along the coastal areas of Cape York Peninsula and the wet tropics of north-eastern Queensland. It is the most widely distributed tree frog in the New Guinea region, spanning from eastern Indonesia, through the New Guinea mainland, to the Bismarck and the Admiralty Islands in the north. It lives in rainforests, cultivated areas, and around houses in coastal areas, and is restricted to areas below 1200 m in altitude.
It has a loud, barking call, but when distressed, it makes a cat-like "mew" sound. Males call during spring and summer after rain from vegetation around the breeding site, normally a still body of water.
Its diet is mainly insects and other arthropods. It can live to over 10 years in the wild.
This species of frog is known for being moved around in fruit produce from northern Australia and ending up becoming a lost frog in southern areas.
As a pet
It is kept as a pet; in Australia, it may be kept in captivity with the appropriate permit.
- Djoko Iskandar, Mumpuni, Jean-Marc Hero, Richard Retallick, Stephen Richards (2004). "Litoria infrafrenata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2013-01-03. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is of least concern.
- Barker, J., Grigg, G. C., and Tyler, M. J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, New South Wales.
- Menzies, J.I. (1976). Handbook of Common New Guinea Frogs. Wau Ecology Institute.
- Cronin, L., (2001). Australian Reptiles and Amphibians, Envirobook, ISBN 0-85881-186-3
- Cogger, H.G. (2000). Reptiles and amphibians of Australia. Reed Books: Sydney.