Frog of the Week

Fiji Tree Frog (Cornufer vitiensis)

Fiji Tree Frog
Fiji tree frog by Tamara.osborne

Common Name: Fiji Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Cornufer vitiensis
Family: Ceratobatracidae
Locations: Fiji – Islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Ovalau, and possibly Taveuni
Male Size: 1.25 – 1.7 inches (32 – 45 mm)
Female Size: 1.8 – 2.3 inches (47 – 60 mm)

The Fiji Tree Frog is one of the two native frogs to the islands of Fiji with the other being the Fiji Ground Frog (Cornufer vitianus). As you can tell by their names, the Fiji Tree Frog lives in trees and other vegetation, often near streams.

The frog breeds all year round but is most active breeding from December to March. The Fiji Frog is one of the few species where both the male and the female call for males. Amplexus for the species is inguinal, where the male grabs the female by her things. Twenty to forty eggs are laid in leaf axils, where they will hatch directly into tiny frogs, skipping a free larval tadpole phase.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Fiji Tree Frog as Near Threatened with Extinction. Habitat loss is the number one issue for the frog. The forests that they live in are being cut down for lumber and to make room for more farms and urban areas.

Frog of the Week

Fiji Ground Frog (Cornufer vitianus)

A reddish Fiji Ground Frog next to a ruler
photo by Tamara Osborne

Conservation status is Endangered
Common Name: Fiji Ground Frog, Viti Wrinkled Ground Frog
Scientific Name: Cornufer vitianus
Family: Ceratobatrachidae
Location: Fiji
Size: 2.3 inches

The Fiji Ground Frog is found only on the islands of Fiji. It is found on the four larger islands (Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Ovalau, and Gau) and on the smaller island of Viwa. Sadly, the frog hasn’t been doing to well. The islands of Fiji have been hit hard by invasive species. The Javan Mongoose / Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) and the Brown Indian Mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) have been introduced to the island and have found that the Fiji Ground Frog is delicious. These mongooses have wiped out the frog from other islands of Fiji. Other invasive species such as cats and Cane Toads also aren’t helping. Neither is deforestation of their habitat.

Small Indian Mongoose – photo by Chung Bill Bill