Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea)
Photo by Peter Robertson © Museum Victoria
Growling Grass Frog
These frogs vary in coloration from splendid to boring. They seem to adapt to their surroundings. The particular "Golden" color comes from yellowish accents along the sides of their bodies...surprisingly, the "golden" color really looks like 14k Gold!! Yet, this color fades and shines depending upon tank temp and mood. If they are agitated, the color is washed out. If the tank is too cold, they turn very dark.
These frogs can grow quickly! In the first month, the Bell Frog can double in size.
Golden Bell's enjoy light and heat - if you want to keep them, spray their habitat with distilled water once a day and keep the temp around 76 degrees F.
They are voracious feeders! Crickets don't stand a chance unless they pack weapons. An Australian herpetologist warned not to put anything smaller than they are in the same tank unless that thing is food. Three times a week - 2-3 crickets each appears to be sufficient.
See my page on Dealing with Crickets for more info.
The Golden bells are predatory creatures and surprisingly active they don't sit like a frog on a log like other amphibians do. One curious habit is that they climb up the glass tank walls and crawl under the heat lamp to "bake." No kidding! The rascals sit no more than an inch away from the hot bulbs!! Normally, frogs are fairly stupid and would not think enough to leap away before they became dried green potato chips. However, the Golden Bells jump down and splash in the water after an afternoon of this artificial sunning.
They are native to Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand. In the past 10 years, their numbers have been declining dramatically destruction of habitat is one reason, use for fish-bait is another! In Australia and Tasmania, The Golden Bell Frog and its cousin, the Green Bell Frog are "Threatened." They may well be on the brink of extinction! These frogs have assumed national importance in Australia, as one of its few breeding sites in Sydney is the disused brick works earmarked for the site of the new Olympic village - but only if they can create suitable accommodation for the Bell frogs elsewhere!
Though energetic and entertaining, these are not frogs to hold. They secrete a noxious substance when irritated and definately do not sit still. The best advice to owners would be to keep plenty of light, sun, heat and FOOD available.