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Females grow to 50mm and males 40mm in SVL. They are a green to olive brown above (often with black flecking) and usually have green sides. They have a golden stripe bordered underneath by a black stripe that runs from the nostrils, through the eyes, over the tympanum and down the flanks. They also have a distinctive white line running along the top lip to the angle of the jaws. The sides, groin and backs of thighs are a brilliant red to orange. Litoria subglandulosa is said to be more brightly coloured than the closely related species Litoria daviesae, although both look quite beautiful.
The tadpoles of L. subglandulosa grow up to 35mm in length and are reasonably typical tree frog tadpoles to look at except that they lack teeth or a beak, instead having a series of tentacle-like papillae around the mouth. This is exceptional amongst the tree frogs of Australia and what they eat is unknown, but of some curiosity.
This frog is also very, very similar in appearance to the related species Litoria citropa (Blue Mountains Tree Frog). Fortunately, there is no overlap in the ranges and so individuals can be told apart simply by where there are found. They are broadly similar as well to the leaf green tree frogs (Litoria phyllochroa and Litoria pearsoniana groups), but can be clearly distinguished by a white lip and bright red-orange sides and thighs.
This description is partially based on information contributed by Frank Lemckert (pers. comm. 2003).
These two very beautiful tree frogs (I’ll refer to both species of Litoria as New England Tree Frogs) are very closely related, with Litoria daviesae having been split from Litoria subglandulosa in 2003 based on new genetic tests.