IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

Litoria daviesae (Davies’ Tree Frog) is a small Australian tree frog, first described by Mahony et al. (2001) as a new member of the Litoria citropa complex. Litoria daviesae can be distinguished from all members of the Litoria citropa species group except L. citropa and L. subglandulosa by the presence of a supratympanic fold and submandibular gland. In contrast to L. citropa, L. davisae lacks vocal sacs and has a hidden tympanum, plus a more sparse distribution of warts.

Litoria daviesae can be distinguished from the closely related species Litoria subglandulosa by color, skin texture and adult size, as well as mitochondrial DNA and allozyme profiles. Litoria daviesae coloration varies from golden brown with scattered dark mottling on the dorsum, to having some green patches. It has a narrow dark-brown stripe from the snout through the eye, which broadens along the side before breaking up into patches; a broad green stripe under the eye, from the nasal area to the shoulder; and a white stripe along the upper lip. The dorsal skin texture of L. daviesae is lightly shagreened (small raised bumps) in most specimens, rather than smooth; ventrally, the texture is slightly granular (Mahony et al. 2001). Adult L. daviesae can reach a greater maximum size (53 mm SVL for males, 63 mm SVL for females) compared to L. subglandulosa. In contrast to L. daviesae, L. subglandulosa is predominantly green, with smooth skin, and a smaller maximum size (40 mm SVL for males, 50 mm SVL for females) (Anstis and Littlejohn 1996; Mahony et al. 2001).

Litoria daviesae tadpoles share a unique larval mouthpart morphology with the closely related L. subglandulosa. The tadpole mouth is subterminal, funnel-shaped, lacks a keratinized (horny) beak and denticles (teeth), and is surrounded by long papillae (Tyler and Anstis 1975). This larval mouthpart morphology distinguishes tadpoles of these two species from all other Australo-Papuan hylids (Anstis and Littlejohn 1996).

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