Giant tree frog

Giant tree frog

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Giant tree frogs are somewhat large amphibians living in Australia and the surrounding islands. Most of these frogs are bright green in color, some even brighter than the one shown above. Some of them are not this color at all. A few of these frogs are actually a greenish brown color while some of them are even bluish green! Another name this frog has is the white-lipped tree frog. It is called this because of the white stripe that goes along its lower lip. Unlike many frogs, namely the red-eyed tree frog, this animal has horizontal pupils. Other frogs have vertical pupils or completely circular pupils. As with most tree frogs, the white-lipped tree frog has pads on its toes that help it climb better. Although they are very agile in the trees, these frogs do not move well on the ground. Along their back legs, these frogs have a white stripe that starts a little bit past the first joint and goes down to the toes. In adult males, this stripe is pinkish in color.

Size

Giant tree frogs, true to their name, are the largest tree frogs in the world. They are also the largest of all frogs in Australia. The adults are usually between 4 and 5.5 inches (10-14 cm). Their average is about 4.3 inches (11 cm) long. Females are larger than the males. There are some reports of females slightly larger than 6 inches (15 cm) long, but these are unconfirmed.

Diet and hunting

As with almost all frogs, giant tree frogs are carnivores. Their main foods are insects and other invertebrates. As far as what insects they eat, there is a wide variety. Almost any insect is good food. These frogs usually hunt on wet, humid nights. These nights, which humans don’t like to go out on due to all of the annoying bugs, are perfect for frogs because they can eat all of the bugs. In captivity, crickets and meal worms are the most popular foods. People who own frogs as pets are encouraged to not feed their pets insects that they catch in the wild. This is because these insects may have pesticides or herbicides in their body that will harm the frog.

Habitat and range

White-lipped tree frogs inhabit mainly northern Australia, specifically north-eastern Australia. They also live on the island of New Guinea and inhabit almost the entire island. Sometimes these frogs, despite how large they are, are accidentally shipped to other places in shipments of produce. Usually they are found right away because of their size so they are not an invasive species anywhere.

These amphibians usually live in areas of low elevation close to the ocean. As most frogs do, the giant tree frog prefers a habitat of plentiful vegetation. These places can take the form of forests, swamps, mangroves, parks, or gardens. They are even sometimes found on farms! The reason these frogs prefer areas with a lot of vegetation is that these areas are usually richer in prey, and they also provide good hiding spots. One other thing white-lipped tree frogs like to have in their habitat is pools of water. These help them stay hydrated as well as provide them an area to lay their eggs.

Status and threats

There is not a lot of readily known information available about the status and threats of the white-lipped tree frog. The IUCN Red List has classified this frog as Least Concern. One of the threats this animal faces is capture for use in the pet trade. Most of the pets are caught in the wild and not captive bred. This causes the wild population to decline, and giant tree frogs do not do well as pets either. It would be better if people were to get a pet White’s tree frog. These frogs, which are closely related to white-lipped tree frogs and live in the same area they do, are a much heartier species. They therefore survive better in captivity. I could not find any natural threats to this frog, but I am sure they do have some predators.

Call

When they feel threatened, giant tree frogs will make a sound that is described as sounding like a cat’s meow. This may alert other frogs of the danger or maybe it also scares the threat away. When they are ready to mate, the males of these frogs will make a call that sounds like a large dog barking. This attracts the females and lets other males know where his territory is.

Reproduction and young

Mating season for white-lipped tree frogs is during the spring and summer, which, since they live in the southern hemisphere, is during the winter months in the northern hemisphere. Males perch in branches off the ground a little bit. They then call to the females with their bark-like call that I just mentioned. They typically position themselves near ponds or other still bodies of water so the females can lay their eggs there after mating. When a female chooses a male, the pair will actually climb down to the water where the female lays the eggs which are then fertilized by the male. Each female can lay up to 1,000 eggs, but it is normally between 200 and 400. These eggs are extremely tiny and are usually only about 3 mm across!

The small tadpoles feed on pieces of leaves, aquatic plants, algae, and waste. Over the next eight weeks, the young tadpoles develop until they are ready to come out on land. The young frogs are ready to reproduce for the first time at around two years old. In the wild, these frogs can live up to 10 years.

Don’t forget to scroll down and comment your guess about what the next animal is!

Mystery animal

Sources:

Photo credits:

  • Giant tree frog – J J Harrison
  • Mystery animal – Pascal Blachier
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