Litoria wilcoxii (HYLIDAE) Stony-creek Frog


The Stony-creek Frog is a ground-dwelling tree frog found in Eastern Australia. It reaches a size of 7 cm and has reduced toe pads. Like most frogs, the colour of the Stony-creek Frog is variable. The dorsal and ventral surfaces range from grey to brown. A thin, black line runs from the snout to the eye, widens after the eye, and continues uninterupted until the base of the arm.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Leg Pattern

A dark stripe runs from the snout, through the eye and tympanum (membrane covering the entrance to the ear), breaking up into a series of blotches down the side of the body. Groin yellow with black blotches and the backs of the thighs have a black-and-yellow pattern. Belly whitish. Finger and toe pads small, toes webbed.

Photo: Mark Crocker

Mating Colour

During the mating season, the males will develop a brilliant lemon-yellow pigment on their skin, which can range from completely covering the body, to just covering the dorsal surface. This species is found in woodland, rainforest and sclerophyll forest. It is normally associated with rocky flowing streams, however it will also inhabit dams in suitable forest.

On Handling

There is a danger of passing pathogens, diseases and other undesirables from frog to frog. “Amphibians can be handled using bare hands as long as the handler washes their hands between amphibians in water to which the animals would normally be exposed; this will ensure that the risks to frogs of exposure are not increased above environmental levels.” Protocol for handling frogs, James Cook University.
Photo: Mark Crocker

Close Relatives

The Stony-creek Frog is unusual in relation to most of the Litoria genus because it lacks a vocal sack. The call is a series of soft trills, which can only be heard within a few metres of the frog. The frog will call near both moving and still water sources. This species was formerly called Litoria lesueuri. Genetic testing showed Litoria lesueuri was three distinct species. These are called Lesueur’s Frog Litoria lesueuri, Jungguy Treefrog Litoria jungguy and Stony-creek Frog Litoria wilcoxii. Lesueur’s Frog can be distinguished from the Stony-creek Frog by the presence of blue spots on the thigh which are missing in the Stony-creek Frog. Geographical distribution and genetic testing are the only methods of differentiating the Stony-creek Frog and Jungguy Treefrog.
Photo: Robert Whyte

White Eyebrow

An estimate of the total number of adults present in the species entire range is  less than 50,000 individuals. Area occupied has declined by 25%. The average number of eggs deposited per adult female per year is  more than 1000 eggs per female per year.
White eyebrowPhoto: Mark Crocker