AmphibiaWeb - Litoria chloristona


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Litoria chloristona Menzies, Richards & Tyler, 2008
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Pelodryadinae
genus: Litoria
Species Description: Menzies JI Richards SJ Tyler MJ 2008 Systematics of the Australo- Papuan tree frogs known as Litoria bicolor (Anura: Hylidae) in the Papuan region. Australian Journal of Zoology 56: 257-280.
Taxonomic Notes: Following the Australian Society of Herpetology, AmphibiaWeb uses Litoria instead of Ranoidea or Dryopsophus (contrary to Dubois and Fretey 2016 and Duellman et al 2016).
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.


Diagnosis and Description: One of the smaller species in the Litoria bicolor complex. Adult males measure 19.6-23.8 mm SVL. Adult females measure 23.7–27.4 mm SVL. Head is longer than it is wide. Eyes are large. When viewed from above, the snout is obtusely pointed, but in profile it is rounded and projecting. Canthus rostralis straight and rounded; loreal region is flat and sloping. Nostrils are semilateral. Tympanum visible, small, with supratympanic fold concealing the upper margin. The throat has a skin fold across it. On all digits the terminal phalanx is free of webbing; Fingers II, III and IV are partially webbed, while toes are not completely webbed. Finely granular dorsal skin and slightly coarser ventral skin. Males have a medial light brown nuptial pad on Finger I (Menzies et al. 2008).

Coloration: In life, bright green dorsum which shades to slightly bronze on the flanks. White labial stripe continues below the eye and separates the green dorsum from the whitish-transparent venter. Dark canthal stripe. Green color stops at wrists and ankles. Hidden surfaces of the thighs are orange-red. Bronze tympanum with a green center. Bronze iris (Menzies et al. 2008).

Larval stage: The tadpole resembles that of other still-water-breeding Litoria species. Its tail is 1-1.5x body length, with a pointed tip, broad and arched dorsal fins and narrower ventral fins. Body is marked with irregular light and dark vertical bands (Menzies et al. 2008).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Papua New Guinea


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Endemic to Papua New Guinea. Collected from Kopi, on the lower Kikori River, to Port Moresby and Sogeri, from 0-500 m ASL. The western limit of the range has not been confirmed past the Kikori River; some Balimo specimens were allocated to L. chloristona but others were allocated to L. viranula, indicating this may be a transition zone. It may extend farther eastward; the area between Port Moresby and Milne Bay has not been adequately surveyed. Found in open, grassy and reedy swamps, roadside ditches near forests and ponds as well as water-filled ditches in town suburbs and flooded grasslands (Menzies et al. 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males generally call while hanging onto grass stems that are slightly above the water surface (swamps, ponds, ditches, and flooded grassland). The call consists of long notes and short notes. Single long notes or several long notes (sounding like zeeep) may be followed by a rapid sequence of short clicks. A long note has a duration of 0.25-0.55 seconds, while a short note lasts 0.048 seconds on average. A single-note long call has 60-120 pulses, given at an average rate of 211/second, with amplitude rising throughout the note but abruptly falling off at the end. Short notes are given at about the same average pulse rate (208/second) as long notes, and thus the total sample cannot be easily separated into long-slow vs. short-fast notes. Many short notes are unpulsed and are thus audible but do not appear in the spectrogram. None of the other populations examined by Menzies et al. (2008) emitted such a long series of short calls. Also, the highest recorded call pulse rate is 223 pulses/second, a lower rate than other species in the L. bicolor complex (Menzies et al. 2008).

Breeds in still water. Eggs are tiny, black, and float in a single layer on the water surface. Known to breed in still water (Menzies et al. 2008).

The species name chloristona is derived from the Greek words chloros for "green", elaschistos for "diminutive" and ontos for "living thing". The type locality is Port Essington, in northern Australia, 200 km northeast of Darwin (Menzies et al. 2008)


Menzies, J. I., Richards, S. J. and Tyler, M. J. (2008). ''Systematics of the Australo-Papuan tree frogs known as Litoria bicolor (Anura : Hylidae) in the Papuan region.'' Australian Journal of Zoology, 56, 257-280.

Originally submitted by: Stephanie Ung (first posted 2009-11-16)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-05-12)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Litoria chloristona <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 4, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 4 Oct 2023.

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