Green Eyed Tree Frog

The green-eyed tree frog is another of those rain-forest species that can be maddeningly difficult to find when you're actively seeking them out. That's not to say they're rare (at least not yet), but they can be a little elusive. In part because the males have such a diminutive call and in part due to their magnificent camouflage.

Be that as it may, on this particular occasion we were spoiled for choice and it was smiles all round ... right up until things took a disturbing turn.

Litoria serrata  (M)

Litoria serrata (F)

In the above photo of a female green-eyed tree frog there appears to be some sort of pathology on her hind leg and groin area (see close up below). Now I am most certainly not an expert in amphibian diseases but like all herpers I am aware of the nastiest of nasties. The dread Chytridiomycosis disease.

Now again, I don't know if that is what this is, It could be a parasite (not pleasant - but better than Chytridiomycosis).


Chytridiomycosis or Bd, may be responsible for the greatest disease-caused loss of biodiversity in recorded history. Over just the past 30 years, Bd has caused the catastrophic decline or extinction (in many cases within a single year) of at least 200 species of frogs, even in pristine, remote habitats (Skerratt et al. 2007). AmphibiaWeb

This disease caused the green-eyed tree frog population to experience a marked decline in the 1990's and the species is now classified as vulnerable under the Queensland Government's Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Act 2006.

A fact that I find incredibly depressing.

Still, where there's life there's hope right?. And I'm sending the image off to have it looked at by experts in the field - let's hope it's good news eh? I'll keep you posted.

'Till then, and as always - take care, Paul :)

Peptides found within the skin of frogs, including the green-eyed species, are now being looked to for HIV virus prevention.

Male green-eyed tree frogs from the Northern region in Australia, are rejected by female green-eyed tree frogs from the south. Their geographic separation has caused a change in mating calls, that continues to drive the two types of green-eyed tree frogs apart. If and when the females from the southern region decide to mate with the males from the north, they are re-productively disadvantaged. Their crossbreed offspring don't survive as long as the frogs whose parents breed with other frogs from the same region.

Scientists now use the green-eyed tree frog in their studies of speciation and evolution due to the mating habits of the frogs in Australia.


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