Habitat: Lakes, dams, ponds, swamps, wetlands, slow-moving streams and human-modified environments that hold water

Distribution: Native to south-eastern Australia, mainly Northern NSW. Was also found in East Gippsland, Victoria, and west to Bathurst, Tumut and the Australian Capital Territory before its population decline.

Life span: Up to 15 years in captivity.

Conservation status: Listed globally and nationally as vulnerable, and endangered under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Main threats: Loss or modification of habitat, predation by foxes, cats and introduced fish, disease, climate change, and the use of herbicides or pesticides


The green and golden bell frog (Ranoidea aurea, previously Litoria aurea), a species that can grow to a length of 85 mm, exhibits a colour spectrum from muted olive to vibrant emerald green.

It possesses several unique characteristics: its back is adorned with large, uneven spots in shades from brown to deep golden-bronze, and it features a pale yellow line that starts behind its eye and extends to its lower back, edged by a black line that may continue through the eye up to the nostrils.

The frog's hind toes are almost entirely webbed, in contrast to its front fingers, which are not webbed. Additionally, this frog is noted for its prominent tympanum, or ear membrane.


As a member of the tree frog family, the green and golden bell frog is often found soaking up sunlight on plants, stones, and reeds, typically situated close to bodies of water. It also frequently moves about these areas. This frog is distinctive in that it tends to be active during daylight hours, which is uncommon among most frog species.


The green and golden bell frog has a deep nasal call. Their call is often likened to a prolonged, throaty sequence sounding like 'craaaaaaaaawk, craaawk, crok, crok.'  You can listen to their call on the Australian FrogID page.

Fun fact: When many of these frogs call together, the collective sound may resemble the distant rumble of motorcycles. 

Diet and breeding

The green and golden bell frog has a diverse diet that includes small fish, water snails, and an assortment of insects such as flies, beetles, their larvae, and grasshoppers. It is also known to eat freshwater crayfish and slugs, and other frogs, even of the same species. It has a strong tendency for cannibalism, usually when in the same enclosure. However, studies and trials have shown cannibalism also occurs in the wild.

The green and golden bell frog is known to breed from the latter part of winter through to early autumn, with the most active breeding period occurring between September and February, especially after heavy rainfall or storms, peaking in January and February.

During the breeding season, male frogs typically call while they are afloat in water, although occasionally they may do so from plants near a pond's edge, primarily at night.

Female frogs may lay between 3,000 to 10,000 eggs in a floating gelatinous mat, within 6 to 12 hours. The eggs then hatch into black tadpoles roughly two days later, and these tadpoles undergo metamorphosis approximately two months later. While females attain their full growth in about two years, males reach maturity more rapidly, within just 9 to 12 months.

A connected rainforest habitat is important to the protection of species like the green and golden bell frog. Find out how we're working to achieve that. 


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