Photo of the Month: Orange-eyed Tree Frog

By Megan Runquist Holmstedt

Orange-eyed Tree Frog; PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Pham

Status: This species (Litoria chloris) is listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its wide distribution and presumed large population, though as with most rainforest species, it is threatened by habitat loss. Other potential threats include Chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease that has decimated at least 200 amphibious species in the last 30 years.

Habitat: This tree frog can be found in rainforests along the eastern Australian coastlines of Queensland and New South Wales. Primarily nocturnal and arboreal, it spends most of its life high in the trees and is usually seen only during heavy spring and summer rains when it descends to breed at shallow pools.

Diet: Like other tree frogs, this species is insectivorous, feeding on a variety of invertebrates.

These bright, medium-sized tree frogs typically grow to 2.5 inches in length, with the females being slightly larger than the males. The frogs’ long, slender limbs enable them to jump or straddle gaps between branches. Adhesive pads on their toes allow greater traction on wet foliage, enabling them to them to climb vertical surfaces.

Large vocal sacs enable these frogs to produce calls described as a series of rising “waaarks” ending in a trill. Male frogs use this call to attract mates.

In order to simulate the natural conditions conducive to the frogs’ breeding, the L.A. Zoo’s herpetology staff created a rain machine for their enclosure. The introduction of artificial rainstorms encouraged the frogs to breed; the resulting offspring can be seen on exhibit in the LAIR.