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Green and Gold Bell Frog Fact File

Appearance

The green and gold bell frog is named for its green and gold skin which is the most common coloration. Running down from the head across the body are a pair of white and black lines. Their underside is white. On the inside of the thigh they have a bluish color. This skin is smooth.

The coloration is highly variable across individual frogs. Some are almost entirely gold or green. They will turn almost entirely brown if cold or inactive. An albino color form of this species exists.

On the feet they have large discs allowing them to grip surfaces. Between the hind toes is webbing to aid in swimming. This is lacking on the front toes.

Their eyes are gold with a horizontal, black pupil.

An average green and gold bell frog will measure up to 10.8cm (4.3in) long. Males are typically smaller than females.

Diet

The green and gold bell frog is a carnivore. Adult frogs will eat anything they can fit in their mouth with the main targets being insects and other frogs.

Tadpoles feed on algae and detritus.

green and gold bell frog

Scientific Name

Litoria aurea

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

Length

10.8cm (4.3in)

Lifespan

10-15 years

Diet

Carnivorous

Range

Australia is the native home of the green and gold bell frog. Here they live along the east coast. Their range once covered a large area across New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. This has now been reduced.

Introduced populations exist in New Zealand and New Caledonia.

Habitat

They can be found near water with populations found near almost all fresh water areas except for fast moving streams. Their habitats need to have ample vegetation around the water’s edge.

Green and gold bell frogs have shown an ability to survive in human disturbed areas such as quarries. One example is a population at Homebush near Sydney where the 2000 Sydney Olympics were held. The planned tennis court site had to be changed due to the presence of a green and gold bell frog population. This has survived despite development occurring around it.

green and gold bell frog

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Reproduction

Breeding takes place from September to March when the males will call in an attempt to attract a female. Most eggs are laid from December to February.


The eggs are laid by the female either on vegetation or on the surface of the water. These are fertilized by the male externally. Up to 5,000 eggs may be laid and it only takes 2 days for them to hatch.


On average it takes between 10 and 12 weeks for the tadpoles to metamorphose in to adults. The timing of this depends on the temperature of the water they are raised in.


Tadpoles are colored dark grey-brown and have a pinkish underside. As they develop they start to gain the green and gold pattern on their body. These tadpoles will reach up to 8cm (3.1in) long prior to metamorphosing.


Males reach sexual maturity between 9 and 12 months old while females mature at 2 years old.

Behavior

Their vocalization is a distinct three part call which has been likened to a motorbike while it changes gears.


They are active during the day.


Green and gold bell frogs gather in small colonies which may include up to 20 members.

green and gold bell frog

Predators and Threats

Natural predators of the green and gold bell frog include wading birds and snakes.


Humans present a wide range of threats. These include habitat destruction and invasive species such as mosquito fish. They may also be threatened by excess ultraviolet light exposure due to the depletion of the ozone layer.


A major decrease in their population has been caused by chytrid fungus.

Quick facts

In Australia and New Zealand this species is kept as a pet.

green and gold bell frog

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Photo Credits

Top

By Tnarg 12345, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1446271


Middle One

Under License


Middle Two and Bottom

By en:User:LiquidGhoul – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1722374

References

Eipper, S., 2012. A Guide To– Australian Frogs In Captivity. Burleigh, Qld: Reptile.

Adcock, L. and Morris, I., 2009. Frogs. Archerfield, Qld.: Steve Parish.

The Australian Museum. 2020. Green And Golden Bell Frog. [online] Available at: <https://australian.museum/learn/animals/frogs/green-and-golden-bell-frog/> [Accessed 11 November 2020].

Environment.nsw.gov.au. 2020. Green And Golden Bell Frog – Profile | NSW Environment, Energy And Science. [online] Available at: <https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10483> [Accessed 11 November 2020].

Australian Reptile Park – Wildlife Park Sydney & Animal Encounters Australia. 2020. Green And Golden Bell Frog Habitat Sydney, NSW. [online] Available at: <https://reptilepark.com.au/animals/amphibians/green-golden-bell-frog/> [Accessed 11 November 2020].

Portal.frogid.net.au. 2020. Litoria Aurea. [online] Available at: <https://portal.frogid.net.au/frogs/litoria-aurea> [Accessed 11 November 2020].

Jean-Marc Hero, Graeme Gillespie, Harold Cogger, Frank Lemckert, Peter Robertson. 2004. Litoria aurea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T12143A3325402. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T12143A3325402.en. Downloaded on 11 November 2020.

Billabongzoo.com.au. 2020. Green And Golden Bell Frog | Billabong Zoo | Port Macquarie Koala And Wildlife Park. [online] Available at: <https://www.billabongzoo.com.au/animals/green-and-golden-bell-frog> [Accessed 11 November 2020].

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