Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea)

The Green and Golden Bell Frog is a large frog characterised by a bright emerald green body with large amounts of bronze and gold colouring in patches which vary between individuals. There is a white or cream stripe running from above the nostril over the eye and continues down the side to the hind legs. The belly is white and the skin is smooth and free from warts making this one of the most beautiful of all native frog species.

Green and Golden Bell Frogs prefer to live in permanent ponds containing bulrushes or the exotic grass Paspalum and are active both at night and in the daytime. It feeds on grasshoppers, cockroaches and other frogs which it finds by their calls.

Females lay 2000-4000 eggs and tadpoles can take from 2-12 months to develop into frogs.
Only one historical record of tadpoles exists from Ku-ring-gai with no recent or adult sightings being made, making it extremely unlikely to still occur in the locality. The species is limited to only a few populations across Sydney, in Homebush Bay and Rosebery in the eastern suburbs. The species was once so common it was collected as food for captive snakes and class dissections at some universities and has now suffered a catastrophic decline. This is most likely due to the introduction of exotic fish species into our waterways and Chrytrid fungus.

The Green and Golden Bell Frog is listed as “Vulnerable” under the EPBC Act by the Department of Conservation NSW.

Size: up to 85cm

Status: Most likely locally extinct

Eggs: Are laid in large floating or sunken clusters, which often are attached to vegetation at the edge of the water.

Tadpoles: Are large and translucent yellow with darker areas. As these tadpoles develop they become darker in colour. They are often seen basking in shallow water near the edges of water bodies.

Call: A distinctive four part call starting with a slow drawn out “craw…craw…craw” followed by some short grunts. Sounds rather like a distant motorbike changing gears.

Known localities: none known