|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Green & Golden Bell frog|
Introduced to the Auckland area in the late 1860s, this frog (Litorea aurea) has not moved far. It is currently found only in the North Island north of Gisborne. Its call is a drawn-out croak, and it is mainly green with gold or bronze patches. The back of the thighs and groin are bright blue, and the belly is smooth and white. It grows to about 9 centimetres.
Green above with irregular bronze colored blotches, although there is variation in hues and the degree of blotching. Dorso-lateral skin fold is creamy, running from eye to groin though sometimes discontinuous. It is paralleled by a black canthal stripe that begins at the nostril and extends over the conspicuous tympanum to the groin. A white glandular stripe extends from the mouth to the base of the forearm. Flanks are brown with cream spots, and limbs are bronze to brown in color. Hind-side of thighs and groin are bright blue, and the belly is whitish. The skin is relatively smooth above, and it is granular below. Fingers lack webbing, while toes are almost fully webbed, and discs are conspicuous on both. Between the internal nasal openings (choanae), vomerine teeth are distinct. A pectoral fold is present (Cogger 1996).
Reproductively mature males have thumbs that are swollen through the development of nuptial pads (Pyke 1999). Males range from 57 to 69 mm, while females range from 65 to 108 mm in length. Larvae are large at metamorphosis, with a high tail fin and heavy pigmentation, typical of Litoria (Barker et al. 1995).
Xanthocnemis is a damselfly that you often see hovering over streams and ponds. Adult damselflies are similar to small dragonflies, but only damselflies can fold their wings back along their body when they land. There are three leaf-like gills at the end of the body.
Xanthocnemis larvae are aquatic, living in slow-flowing waters, often amongst weed beds. These insects are predators that catch prey with their extendable jaws. Being larger than most aquatic insects, damselflies are favourite food items for fish.
Damselfly larvae can be found in clean and not-so-clean waters and they are quite tolerant of low dissolved oxygen and warm water temperatures.
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