Litoria chloris

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Geographic Range

Litoria chloris occupies coastal eastern Australian rainforests, from Queensland to New South Wales and as far north as Prosperine (Barker 1995).

Habitat

Australian red-eyed tree frogs occupy coastal wet sclerophyll and rainforests. They can also be encountered in flooded grasslands, near rivers, and in regrowth areas (Hicks 1999).

Physical Description

Male Australian red-eyed tree frogs range from 5.4 to 6.2 cm, snout to vent length, while females are larger at 5.8 to 6.8 cm, snout to vent length. They have a smooth brilliant green dorsum and a lemon yellow granular ventral surface. There is little green coloring on the limbs, except for the upper forearms and the tibia; the rest of the limb is yellow. The thighs are deep purple, and L. chloris' irises are bright red-orange with a horizontal pupil. This tree frog has a typical Hylidae build with long, slender limbs and webbed hands and feet with large toe discs. A distinct tympanum is noticable (Hicks 1999).

Development

Reproduction

Males call from October to February, during and after very heavy rain (Baker 1999). Theie advertisement call is a series of long "aaa-rk's" ending with a soft trill or chirp (Cogger 1992). Calling and amplexus takes place in shallow pools. The eggs can be laid in clumps or laid singly, entwined in the vegetation (Barker 1995). In captivity, Australian red-eyed tree frogs have been known to lay 5 clutches in a season with up to 500 eggs per clutch. The larvae can reach a maximum length of 7.4 cm and are light brown. In approximately 41 days, at 27 degrees Celsius, the tadpoles will reach metamorphosis (Hicks 1999).

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)

Behavior

Litoria chloris spends most of its time high in the rainforest canopy so not much is known about its behavior. Generally, this species is encountered only after heavy rain when breeding behavior has been observed (Cogger 1992).

Food Habits

This frog lives in an inaccessible habitat for most of the year. Therefore, not much is known about their feeding habits. However, they are assumed to be insectivorous like other tree frogs that have been studied more intensively (Hicks 1999).

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Litoria chloris has been used for research in areas such as antibiotic peptides and evaporative water loss (Steinborner 1998; Buttemer 1990). Also, this species is available in the pet trade (Vosjoli 1996).

Conservation Status

Other Comments

Litoria chloris closely resembles L. xanthomera. In fact, the two species are so similiar that they were thought to be the same species until recently. These two species do not coexist since their ranges do not overlap. The simplest way to distinguish the two species is visually: L. Choris has purple thighs while L. xanthomera has orange thighs (Hicks 1999).

Contributors

Jennifer Periat (author), Michigan State University, James Harding (editor), Michigan State University.

Glossary

Australian

Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

ectothermic

animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature

metamorphosis

A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

rainforest

rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

References

Barker, J., G. Grigg, M. Tyler. 1995. A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. NSW: Surrey Beatty & Sons.

Buttemer, W. 1990. Effect of temperature on evaporative water loss of the Australian tree frogs Litoria caerulea and Litoria chloris. Physiological Zoology, 63(5): 1043-1057.

Cogger, H. 1992. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Hicks, N. 1999. Accessed November 16, 1999 at http://members.dencity.com/litoria/nathist/nathist.html.

Steinborner, S., J. Currie-Graeme, J. Bowie, J. Wallace, M. Tyler. 1998. New antibiotic caerin 1 peptides from the skin secretion of the Australian tree frog Litoria chloris. Journal of Peptide Research, 51(2): 121-126.

Vosjoli, P., R. Mailloux, D. Ready. 1996. Care and Breeding of Popular Tree Frogs. Santee, CA: Advanced Vivarium Systems.