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Back to Education IndexThe White's Tree Frog, Green Tree Frog, Dumpy Tree Frog or Australian Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea) is a species of tree frog native to Australia and New Guinea, with introduced populations in New Zealand and the United States. The species belongs to the genus Litoria. It is physiologically similar to some species of the genus, particularly the magnificent tree frog (L. splendida) and the giant tree frog (L. infrafrenata).
The White’s Tree Frog is larger than most of its Australian counterparts, reaching 10 cm (4 in) in length. The average lifespan of the frog in captivity, about 16 years, is long in comparison with most frogs. Green tree frogs are docile and well suited to living near human dwellings. They are often found on windows or inside houses, eating insects drawn by the light. The green tree frog screams when it is in danger to scare off its foe, and squeaks when it is touched.
The green tree frog can grow up to 10 cm (4 in) in length. Its colour depends on the temperature and colour of the environment, ranging from brown to green; the ventral surface is white. The frog occasionally has small, white, irregularly shaped spots on its back. At the end of its toes, it has large discs, which provide grip while climbing. The eyes are golden and have horizontal irises, typical of the Litoria genus. The fingers are about one-third webbed, and the toes nearly three-quarters webbed.
Due to its physical and behavioural traits, the green tree frog has become one of the most recognisable frogs in its region, and is a popular exotic pet throughout the world. The skin secretions of the frog have antibacterial and antiviral properties that may prove useful in pharmaceutical preparations.
Their diet predominantly consists of insects and spiders, but can include smaller frogs and even small mammals. Frog teeth are not suited to cutting up prey, so the prey must fit inside the mouth of the frog. Many frogs propel their sticky tongues at prey. The prey sticks, and is consumed. A green tree frog will use this technique for smaller prey; for larger prey, though, it pounces, then forces the prey into its mouth with its hands.
This page is about the understated Whites Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea)
Click HERE for a Whites Tree Frog care sheet.