White’s Treefrog

(Litoria caerulea)

Common Name: White’s Treefrog (aka Australian Treefrog, Dumpy Treefrog)

Scientific Name: Litoria caerulea

Reptiles Alive Name: Erwin and Steve

Hisssstory: Like many of our Reptiles Alive friends, Erwin and Steve came to RA as unwanted pets.

RA Diet: Crickets, baby roaches, and earthworms.

Natural Diet: They eat mainly insects such as moths, locusts, and roaches.

Range: Eastern Australia, the islands in Torres Straits, and New Guinea. They have been introduced by humans to New Zealand.

Habitat: White’s tree frogs live in the understory or canopy levels in forests. The frogs rarely come out of their trees and access water when rain collects in hollows of trees or in cup-shaped plants.

Size: Three to 4.5 inches. Females are usually slightly bigger than the males.

Lifespan: White’s tree frogs can live an average of 16 years.

Reproduction: Breeding takes place in the summer rainy season in wet or damp places. Males sing beautiful low pitch love songs to attract the females. One cool fact about the White’s tree frog’s reproduction is that the female can shoot her eggs with such a force that they can land up to 1.5 feet away! One clutch contains from 150 to 300 eggs. Metamorphosis can be completed in two to three weeks in good conditions.

Conservation: White’s treefrogs are neither technically threatened nor endangered. Though, a fungal illness commonly called “chytrids” has threatened many populations. After many years of work, it has been uncovered that the same antifungal chemical used to kill athletes’ foot in humans can be used to treat infected frogs and toads!

Cool Facts: White’s tree frogs are not found strictly in tropical rainforests. In other forests, these frogs avoid drying out by taking refuge in tree hollows and/ or covering themselves in a cocoon of shed skin and mucus. Shed skin and mucus – Delightful!

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