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Australian Green Tree Frog

 
 

Image: Wikipedia Creative Commons (Public Domain)

Description: The Australian Green Tree Frog is a large species of frog, measuring up to four inches in length. Females are normally larger than males. Depending on the temperature, this frog can be green or brown in coloration with white underparts. Some have small white spots on the back or on the sides. Australian Green Tree Frogs have small discs on the toes that enable them to climb slippery vertical surfaces. This frog can live up to sixteen years in captivity and are often kept as pets. The secretions of the Australian Green Tree Frog have antiviral and antibacterial properties that may prove useful in making new kinds of medicines, some of which may prove useful in fighting the HIV Virus. These frogs are nocturnal and sleep in dark, damp places during the day.

Habitat/Range: The Australian Green Tree Frog prefers wet, tropical environments. They are often found high in the canopy of trees near stagnant or slow-moving water. They are sometimes found in swamps and grasslands, and are often found in water sources inside or around the house such as sinks, toilets, or downspouts. This frog is native to northern Australia and southern New Guinea, though they have been introduced to other locales through the exotic pet trade. It is one of the most popular frog pets in the world for its bright colors, docility, and long lifespan.

Diet: The Australian Green Tree Frog eats large quantities of insects, which it snares with its long, sticky tongue. It occasionally takes other frogs and small mammals.

Breeding: Female Australian Green Tree Frogs lay between 1,000 and 3,000 eggs in a jelly-like mass that floats on top of shallow water. The fertilized eggs eventually sink to the bottom of the water source and become attached to vegetation. The tadpoles are large, growing up to 10 centimeters in length and are brownish in color.

Status: The Australian Green Tree Frog is thought to be declining in numbers. Habitat loss and a certain fungus that attacks the skin are thought to be negatively impacting populations.