Frog of the Week

Southern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne corroboree)

photo by Andrew c

Common Name: Southern Corroboree Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudophryne corroboree
Family: Myobatrachidae – Australian Ground Frog family
Location: Australia
Size: 1.18 inches (30 mm)

The Southern Corroboree Frog is found in the Australian Alps of New South Wales. They are found in sphagnum bogs, montane forests, and subalpine woodlands, and wet tussock grasslands. The Corroboree Frogs are one of the only species of frogs that creates their own poisons, instead of accumulating the toxins from their prey, like how Poison Dart Frogs do.

The frogs breed during the summer from January to March. The males create small chambers or nests in the moss next to dry water body. Then, the male will then call for the females in hopes of attracting a mate. Once a female selects a mate, the male will grasp her from behind in the amplexus position. Next, the female will lay her eggs and the male then fertilizes it. The female lays between 16 to 38 eggs. Then, female will then leave but the male will stay with the eggs to protect them. The male can breed with multiple different females throughout the breeding season.

The eggs will develop up until they are almost about to hatch. This is caused a diapause. The development will start once heavy rains come and flush the eggs into the water body, causing them to hatch. The newly hatch tadpoles will stay there until they complete their metamorphosis.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List considers the Southern Corroboree as a Critically Endangered species. Chytrid fungus, a deadly pathogen, is the primary reason why they are considered critically endangered. This fungus makes the frog’s skin get thicker, making it harder to breath, and eventually causing death. The Corroboree’s habitat is threatened by drought, wildfires, and invasive species. Invasive feral pigs, horses, and samba deer trample the wetland habitat that the frogs use for reproduction. Invasive weeds such as blackberries, have also shaded breeding habitat that the frogs enjoy being exposed to sun.

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