Archive Content

Please note: This page has been archived and its content may no longer be up-to-date. This version of the page will remain live for reference purposes as we work to update the content across our website.

© WWF / Ronald PETOCZ

New Guinea amphibians

White-lipped or giant treefrog (Litoria infrafrenata) in Papua, Indonesia.

Island-hopping amphibians

The amphibian fauna of New Guinea is cosmopolitan. A southern group has its origins in Australia (e.g. hylids and myobatrichids frogs), while another has been traced to the Solomon Islands to the east.

Ranids and microhylids originate from Asia, having probably arrived in New Guinea on floating vegetation. But the ancestors of most groups of New Guinea amphibians came from the west.1

New Guinea frog life

Some frogs are tiny, while others huge. The Arfak River frog reaches 160 mm and is readily eaten. Some species may be found as high as 3,850 m.

Frogs have a wide range of habitats: underground, in streams or in trees.  Many frogs lay their eggs out of the water, so there is no tadpole stage in the life cycle.2

1 Miller S. (Ed). 1994. Status of biodiversity in Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea Country Report on Biological Diversity. Waigani: The Department of Environment and Conservation, Conservation Resource Centre and the Africa Centre for Resources and Environment (ACRE); 67-95.
2 Muller K. 2004. The Biodiversity in New Guinea. Unpublished document.