Hochstetter's Frog

Leiopelma hochstetteri



Endemic to New Zealand, populations scattered around the North Island.


Usually found beside mountain streams


In the wild the frog eats a variety of small insects and other invertebrates, (frogs are carnivores). In captivity they are fed small live insects.


A lot is still unknown about native frog breeding but they have around 9-20 young and may only breed once every two years


30-40 years


Rats and mustelids (e.g. stoats)

Conservation Status:

Vulnerable, rare and protected. Habitat loss, disease, introduced predators, climate change and pollution are the main threats.


Small, nocturnal and very well camouflaged, these are not the common frogs seen and heard near waterways around New Zealand. Those vocal green frogs are Australian introductions.

How do you tell native frogs from the Aussies?
Native frogs have no external eardrum and their hearing is poor, so it follows that they are less vocal than your 'average' frog. They may squeak. Their pupils are round, whereas those of the introduced frogs are slit-eyed.

Hochstetter’s frogs are listed as vulnerable.

They are present at Hamilton Zoo for four main reasons:

To protect these individuals from the chytrid fungus (and other threats) which is seriously depleting wild populations

To enable the keepers to develop husbandry skills and share their knowledge in turn with other amphibian conservationists

To learn how to breed them in captivity

To allow us to educate people about native frog conservation

If you spot a native frog, please inform the Department of Conservation (DOC) of the location, habitat, date and time that the animal was seen. Photos are useful but avoid touching the animal.