Scientific Name: Litoria aurea
Val & Denis Culpan, Ettalong Beach, NSW
Although a member of the tree frog family, the green and golden bell frog has only small pads on its toes and fingers. Their call is a long, deep droning croak accompanied by approximately four shorter grunts. The green and golden bell frog has declined dramatically over the last few decades. There are several factors contributing to this including habitat modification and destruction and introduced predators, particularly the mosquito fish. Other threats include disease and possibly the effects of increased ultraviolet light from ozone layer depletion. Its natural predators include birds and snakes.
The green and golden bell frog has smooth skin, usually green, with a variable pattern of golden brown blotches. It has a creamy-gold stripe along the side of the body, from the eye to the hind legs. The inside of the thighs are distinctly coloured in turquoise-blue. The tadpoles are dark grey-brown with a pinkish tinge to the underside. Females grow to an adult size of approximately 10cm in length, males are smaller rarely exceeding 8cm
The green and golden bell frog is found in the eastern half of New South Wales and Victoria and the ACT. It is usually found around dams, creeks and lakes, often where sites have been disturbed by human activity such as disused quarries. Their preferred habitats always have ample vegetation both in and around the water.
The diet of this frog consists of spiders, crickets, beetles, damselflies, butterflies and ants. It also preys on smaller frogs including juveniles of its own species.
To attract females, many males congregate at ponds and call while floating in the water. Their breeding season is usually during the spring and summer and their eggs are laid amongst loose floating vegetation. Tadpoles take about 10-12 weeks to metamorphose, though this is somewhat dependent on the temperature of the water.