Southern Bell Frog

A Growling Grass Frog on a pond surface
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Scientific Name: Litoria raniformis

Size: Total Length 9 cm

What does it look like?

Colouration varies for the Southern Bell Frog, but is usually gold with large green blotches and spots, and in some individuals almost all gold or all green. Depending on the frog’s warmth, the colouration can change, being brightest when it is at its preferred body temperature. The back has wart-like bumps or protrusions.

Where is it found?

They are found in south-eastern Australia, including Tas and have been introduced to New Zealand.

What are its habitats & habits?

They prefer swamps, large dams or lagoons and other slow-moving or still bodies of water. The male’s call is made from among floating vegetation and on reeds near the water level, primarily after rain, from spring to autumn. The call has been described as a single drawn-out ‘crawark-crawark-crok-crok.’ They are pond or pool breeders, preferring little or no surface movement. Spawn occurs in floating clusters but may also be submerged and wrapped around aquatic plants. They lay about 2400 eggs in a clutch. The tadpoles take an average of 15 weeks to complete metamorphosis.

Interesting facts

The Southern Bell Frog, or Growling Grass Frog, could possibly be a species complex. The animals from the northern part of its range are genetically distinct from those in the southern half.

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A Naturalist's Guide to the Frogs of Australia front cover

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Frogs of Australia

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