Found in a wide variety of habitats, including human dwellings, this is one of
Australia's largest and most common frogs, native to Australia and New Guinea.
Introduced population are also found in New Zealand and the United States.
Whites Tree Frog was the first Australian frog scientifically classified, and
named in honour of the first person to describe the species, John White (who was
a botanical collector and principal surgeon during the First Fleet to Australia.
The species was originally called the blue frog (Rana caerulea), and
although Whites Tree Frog was green, the specimen he sent to England was
damaged by the preservative and appeared blue. The reason is because the colour
of the frog is caused by blue and green pigments covered in a yellow layer. The
preservative the specimen was kept in, destroyed the yellow layer and left the
frog with a blue colouration. The specific epithet, caerulea, which is
Latin for blue, has remained the same.
Green tree frogs can actually range from olive green through bright green, to
brown, changing colour from one hour to the next. Not at all timid they are
often found cohabitating with humans in showers and toilets. Their distribution
ranges from the northern and eastern regions of Australia and southern New
Guinea. It is also found surviving in the warmer northern part of Victoria.
All frog species have sensitive skins that are protected by a moist coating
containing many chemicals. This species secretes the chemical Caerllein now
artificially is used in human medicine.