Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea) Click to enlarge image
A large species of frog reaching up to 11 cm in body length. It has a green back, sometimes with several small white spots. The belly is white. The pupil is horizontal and the iris is gold. Fingers and toes are three-quarters webbed, both with large discs. Inland NSW individuals can have a blue-green back, and some northern populations have yellow on the fingers, toes, webbing, and undersurfaces of the arms and legs. Image: Bradshaw
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • IUCN Conservation Status
    LEAST CONCERN (LC)
  • Classification
    Species
    caerulea
    Genus
    Litoria
    Family
    Hylidae
    Order
    Anura
    Subclass
    Lissamphibia
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    12 cm

The Green Tree Frog is a familiar frog to many Australians and is the most popular species of pet frog overseas.

Identification

Green Tree Frogs (Litoria caerulea) are one of the largest Australian frogs. The scientific name caerulea means 'blue', which was the colour of the specimen that arrived in London in 1790. The alcohol preservation may have altered the frog's true colour, fooling the early scientists. Nevertheless sometimes blue individuals are found that lack the yellow pigment and, much more rarely, yellow individuals that lack the blue pigment.


Green Tree Frog, Litoria caerulea
Green Tree Frog 2.8 Image: G A Hoye
© Australian Museum

Habitat

Green Tree Frogs live in urban areas, forests and woodlands, wetlands and heath. They have a habit of taking up residence in and around suburban houses, around shower blocks and water tanks.

Distribution

Green Tree Frogs are one of the most widespread of Australia's amphibians, found in all states except Victoria and Tasmania.



Feeding and diet

Green Tree Frogs sometimes sit beneath outside lights at night to catch insects that are attracted to the light, but they are also capable of taking larger prey on the ground, including mice. They have also been recorded catching bats around cave entrances.

Communication

The call of a Green Tree Frog is like a 'crawk...crawk....crawk'.

Conservation status

The Green Tree Frog population, like many frogs, has also suffered a decline over recent years. The species is long-lived and can live for over 20 years. Because of this longevity the population decline went unnoticed for several years. Adults are still seen and heard regularly but young frogs are becoming scarce.


Green Tree Frog
Green Tree Frog, Litoria caerulea, in water Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum