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Distinguished Author

Bocage-JV-Barbosa-du-1823-1.jpg

José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage
  (1823–1907).

A Portuguese zoologist and politician. He was the curator of Zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Lisbon. His work at the Museum consisted in acquiring, describing and coordinating collections, many of which arrived from the Portuguese colonies in Africa, such as Angola, Mozambique, etc. He published more than 200 taxonomic papers on mammals, birds, and fishes. In the 1880s he became the Minister of the Navy and later the Minister for Foreign Affairs for Portugal. The zoology collection at the Lisbon Museum is called the Bocage Museum in his honor. He was responsible for identifying many new species, which he named according to the naturalist who found them.

Species of the month

Australian Green Tree Frog

Litoria caerulea

Litoria caerulea

Some facts on this frog:

Length: 7 to 11.5 cm.

Colour: Depends on the temperature and colour of the environment, ranging from brown to green.

Distribution: Native to northern and eastern regions of Australia and to southern New Guinea. Introduced to the United States and to New Zealand.

Diet: Mainly insects such as moths, locusts, and roaches.

Lifespan: Up to 16 years.

First described: By the English surgeon and botanical collector John White in 1790.


How about replacing your dog with a Litoria caerulea? This frog's docile nature, cartoon-like appearance and long life expectancy make it an attractive choice for exotic-pet owners. The male calls can be heard year round from high tree canopy. When threatened, the Australian green tree frogs emit an ear-piercing distress call. During the dry season they cover themselves in a cocoon of sloughed epidermis and mucus and burrow to keep moist. When the rainy summer season comes they feast for a few days before starting to breed. The breeding often takes place in very moist places, such as drainage systems, water tanks, or grassy semi-permanent water systems. The female ejects her eggs with such a force that they pass through the male's deposited sperm cloud, stopping up to half a meter away. A clutch contains from 150 to 300 eggs. Once fertilized, the eggs sink to the bottom substrate and about 28 to 36 hours later hatching begins. Metamorphosis occurs in two to three weeks given good conditions. Litoria caerulea shares the genus Litoria with dozens of other frog species endemic to Australasia. One old common names of the species, "White's tree frog", is in honor of John White's first description in 1790. It was the first Australian frog to be scientifically classified.

See also: Species of previous months

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