Litoria mira Oliver, Rittmeyer, Torkkola, Dahl, Donnellan & Richards, 2020
Chocolate tree frog
|Species Description: Oliver PM, EN Rittmeyer, J Torkkola, SC Donnellan, C Dahl, and SJ Richards. 2020. Multiple trans-Torres Strait colonisations by tree frogs in the Litoria caerulea group, with the description of a new species from New Guinea. Australian Journal of Zoology 68: 25–39.|
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).
Litoria mira is differentiated from other Litoria by their somewhat large size, relatively narrow head, and brown, patternless dorsal coloration. Other features include a small violet patch at the postero-ventral edge of the eye, a lack of a white stripe on the lip, a lack of white/yellow lateral folds on the limbs, and a paratoid gland that is present but not prominent (Oliver et al. 2021). For more comparisons please see Oliver et al. 2021.
In preservative, specimens have a dark brown dorsal coloration with the upper hind limbs and digits being slightly more pale. The ventral coloration is a pale buff, with a swath of darker brown on the throat, and patches of lighter brown on the torso, lower forelimbs, hind limbs, and toes. In life, L. mira has a very similar coloration as in preservative but pigmentation is more scattered and lighter brown in general. They also feature a small violet patch near the eye (Oliver et al. 2021).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Papua New Guinea
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Maximum Likelihood analysis of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 and a small fragment of tRNA placed L. mira in the Litoria caerula group. Within this clade the lowland forest-dwelling L. mira appears to be a sister lineage to the savannah-dwelling lineages of L. caerulea, L. gilleni and L. splendida (Oliver et al. 2021).
The species epithet, “mira” is derived from the Latin, “mirium” which means “surprised” or “strange”, and L. mira was so named after the researchers’ surprise at finding an undescribed member of L. caerula group, which is mostly found in Australia, in New Guinea (Oliver et al. 2021).
Oliver PM, Rittmeyer EN, Torkkola J, Donnellan SC, Dahl C, Richards SJ. “Multiple trans-Torres Strait colonisations by tree frogs in the Litoria caerulea group, with the description of a new species from New Guinea," Australian Journal of Zoology, 68(1), 25-39 [link]
Originally submitted by: Chez Epps (2022-09-23)
Description by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Distribution by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Life history by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Comments by: Chez Epps (updated 2022-09-23)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-09-23)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Litoria mira: Chocolate tree frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/9416> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 27, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 27 Mar 2023.
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