This species is distributed widely, in Australia from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, through most of Northern Territory, all of Queensland, northern and central New South Wales and the northeast corner of South Australia. In New Guinea this species is known from widely scattered locations in the northern and southern lowlands and from the Vogelkop Peninsula, occurring in both Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In New Guinea it lives in lowlands below 200m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
In Australian it is found in a range of habitats including dry forest/woodland and grassland; rarely in wet forest, near streams and swamps on rocks and trees or in crevices in rocks and hollow tree trunks. It also found in woodlands on hills and plains often far from water. It is also found in domestic environments, including letterboxes, toilet bowls and cisterns, bathrooms and meter boxes. It is commonly kept as a pet within Australia and overseas (but it is now protected). Breeding occurs from November to February. Males call near water and often down pipes. Clumps of 200-2000 eggs are deposited on the surface of still water. The spawn sinks within 24 hours. Development is usually complete in 6 weeks; larvae are free swimming. In New Guinea it occurs in open, monsoon forest, and around human habitation such as rural gardens and houses in townships. It breeds in temporarily flooded ponds and ditches.
In New Guinea it is probably common but occurs patchily.
Pollution and predation by cats and dogs is a threat where the species occurs in suburban areas. Some animals have been found to be sick with chytrid fungus. The collection of tadpoles and movement of tadpoles; juveniles often relocated by the transportation of fresh produce. It is kept as a pet outside Australia. Habitat loss associated with urban expansion is a significant threat in coastal areas. Although its distribution is poorly documented in New Guinea, its occurrence in a wide variety of habitats, including disturbed habitats, in Australia suggests that it is unlikely to be at risk in New Guinea. However, 75,000 animals were exported from Indonesia in 2002 for the international pet trade, and this level of trade is increasing. Such harvest might impact some populations locally.
Overall the only major threat to this very widespread species in the near future is the potential for a disease epidemic.
It occurs in several protected areas throughout its range. In New Guinea its distribution, ecological requirements and population status need to be documented, especially in relation to the impacts of wild harvest. In Australia restrictions on the pet industry are in place i.e. must have a permit to keep frogs. It has been bred in captivity at some Australian zoos.
Jean-Marc Hero, Stephen Richards, Richard Retallick, Paul Horner, John Clarke, Ed Meyer 2004. Litoria caerulea. In: IUCN 2014