Males range from 23 to 27 mm in length, while females range from 25 to 29 mm. Very similar to Litoria fallax (in fact it wasn't recognized as a separate species until 1969). It has a green dorsal surface and a thin bronze dorso-lateral stripe which begins at the eye (Barker et al. 1995). Often, there is a central bronze band running along the vertebral line of the dorsal surface. A narrow white stripe runs from below the eye at the corner of the mouth to the base of the arm. The ventral surface is cream or yellowish, with a flash of gold in the thighs and groin area. The male throat is flecked with darker color. Skin is granular on the belly and femoral region, but smooth otherwise. The iris of the eye is golden, the tympanum is distinct, vomerine teeth are absent, and there is a strong pectoral fold (Cogger 1996). There are discs on both the fingers and toes, the fingers are slightly webbed, and the fringed toes are about three-quarters webbed. There is an inner but no outer metatarsal tubercle, and the second finger is longer than first (Cogger 1996). The characters which distinguish this species from L. fallax are the thin, bronze lateral stripe, the webbing does not reach the base of the first toe, and body-length to head-width ratio is >3.5 (Cogger 1996; Barker et al. 1995).
Tadpoles may reach up to 55 mm, and appear with a high, crested tail and heavy pigmentation on the fin and muscular region (Barker et al. 1995).
The call is a high-pitched "wree-e-eck pippip," although the second part begins before the first part has ended, and is distinguishable from Litoria cooloolensis and L. fallax only in the first part lasting twice as long in duration (Barker et al. 1995).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea
Coast and adjacent areas of northern Australia, from the Kimberly region in Western Australia to the Propserine district in eastern Queensland. It is also found in the southern coastal areas of New Guinea (Cogger 1996). In north-eastern Queensland, where it overlaps with L. fallax, L. bicolor is found at lower elevations (Barker et al. 1995). Individuals are found around permanent or semi-permanent water bodies, in hot and sometimes arid conditions. Usually in wooded areas, and often found in or on vegetation, such as the leaf axils of Pandanus palms (Cogger 1996).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Summer rain (December) marks the beginning of the breeding season, with males usually calling from aquatic vegetation, and the eggs are usually laid attached to submerged vegetation (Barker et al. 1995).
Barker, J., Grigg, G. C., and Tyler, M. J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, New South Wales.
Cogger, H. G. (1996). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books Australia, Port Melbourne.
Originally submitted by: Sean Schoville (first posted 1999-06-02)
Edited by: Meredith J. Mahoney (2002-04-26)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2002 Litoria bicolor: Northern Dwarf Tree Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/1222> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 22, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
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