Amphibians of Western Australia
The Amphibians of Western Australia are represented by two families of frogs. Of the 78 species found, most within the southwest, 38 are unique to the state. 15 of the 30 genera of Australian frogs occur; from arid regions and coastlines to permanent wetlands.
Frog species in Western Australia have not suffered the major declines of populations and diversity of many parts of the world. No species is recorded as having become extinct, despite over 50% of recent worldwide extinctions being Australian.
Three species are listed as Threatened, two as Vulnerable and Geocrinia alba as Critically Endangered. Threats to the species include the fungal disease Chytridiomycosis, though no infection has yet been recorded, and damage to habitat from altered land use and fire regimes. These processes have caused decline in many populations, however, some have successfully colonized newly created habitats such as dams or suburban gardens. Species such as Litoria moorei (Motorbike frog) and Limnodynastes dorsalis (Pobblebonk) are very common and well known, while others are restricted to particular habitats in their distribution range.
The frogs inhabit a wide range of habitat and many in the Southwest, such as Myobatrachidae sp., occur only in that region. The Cyclorana (Family: Hylidae) are ground dwelling and burrowing species occurring in the North of the state. These are tree frogs closely related in structure and reproductive biology to the other Hylidae genus - Litoria.
Currently, the only non-native amphibian naturalised in Western Australia (WA) is Limnodynastes tasmaniensis (Spotted Grass Frog), which was introduced to Kununurra in the 1970s, apparently during the relocation of several hundred transportable homes from Adelaide. However, Bufo marinus (Cane Toad) occurs in the Northern Territory close to Western Australia's border, and is expected to spread into Western Australia within the next five years.
Myobatrachidae contains three sub-families (some taxonomists them as individual families), two of which occur in Western Australia. Two members of Opisthodon are included here under their synonyms in Limnodynastes. The tree frog family, Hylidae, contains a subfamily, Pelodryadinae (Austro-Papuan tree frogs), and two genera occur.
This table is a summary of the species occurring in Western Australia, giving their common name, distribution and conservation status on the IUCN Red List.
|Genus: Arenophryne||One species|
|Arenophryne rotunda||Fossorial frog that uses strong arms to (unusually) burrow forward.||Coastal, Kalbarri to Shark Bay||LC|
|Bufo marinus||Cane toad||Entering WA at 30 km per year||LC|
|Crinia bilingua||Bilingual Froglet|
|Crinia georgiana||Quacking Froglet|
|Crinia glauerti||Glauert's Froglet|
|Crinia insignifera||Western Sign-bearing Froglet|
|Crinia pseudinsignifera||False Western Froglet|
|Crinia subinsignifera||Small Western Froglet|
|Genus:Cyclorana (Family: Hylidae)||Water-holding frogs. Ground dwelling and hibernating tree frogs.||LC|
|Cyclorana australis||Giant Frog (Gray, 1842)||Kimberley|
|Cyclorana cryptotis||Hidden-eared Frog (Parker, 1940)||Kimberley region|
|Cyclorana cultripes||Knife-footed Frog (Parker, 1940)||Kimberley region|
|Cyclorana longipes||Long-footed Frog (Tyler & Martin, 1977)||Kimberley region|
|Cyclorana maini||Main's frog (Tyler & Martin, 1977)||Central west Australia. Range: Winning Pool, Lake Disappointment to Morawa and Laverton|
|Cyclorana platycephala||Water-holding frog (Günther, 1873)||Wide distribution in the central west.|
|Cyclorana vagitus||Wailing Frog (Tyler, Davies & Martin, 1981)||Kimberley|
|Genus: Geocrinia||formerly Crinia||Southwest Australia||LC except:|
|Geocrinia alba||White-bellied Frog||CR|
|Geocrinia leai||Lea's frog|
|Geocrinia lutea||Walpole’s frog, Nornalup Frog (Main, 1963)||NT|
|Geocrinia rosea, (Harrison, 1927)||Karri frog, Roseate frog|
|Geocrinia vitellina||Orange-bellied frog, Yellow-bellied frog||VU|
|Genus: Heleioporus||Burrowing frogs. All except H. australiacus are WA endemic.||LC|
|Heleioporus albopunctatus (Gray, 1841)||Western Spotted Frog||Southwest Australia|
|Heleioporus barycragus (Lee, 1967)||Western Marsh Frog.||Southwest Australia|
|Heleioporus eyrei (Gray, 1845)||Moaning Frog (eyrei)||Southwest Australia|
|Heleioporus inornatus (Lee & Main, 1954)||Plains Frog.|
|Heleioporus psammophilus (Lee & Main, 1954)||Sand Frog|
|Genus:Litoria (Family: Hylidae)||Genus of tree frog ranging from Australia and New Guinea to Indonesia.||LC except:|
|Litoria adelaidensis||Slender Tree Frog||Southwest Australia|
|Litoria bicolor||Northern Dwarf Tree Frog||Kimberly region|
|Litoria caerulea||Green Tree Frog|
|Litoria cavernicola||Name Cave-dwelling Tree Frog||DD|
|Litoria coplandi||Name Copland's Rock Frog|
|Litoria cyclorhyncha||Spotted-thighed Frog|
|Litoria dahli||Dahl's Aquatic Frog|
|Litoria inermis||Floodplain Frog|
|Litoria meiriana||Rockhole Frog|
|Litoria microbelos||Javelin Frog|
|Litoria moorei||Motorbike Frog, Bell Frog.|
|Litoria nasuta||Rocket Frog|
|Litoria pallida||Pale Frog|
|Litoria rothii||Roth's Tree Frog or Northern Laughing Tree Frog||North west|
|Litoria rubella||The Desert Tree Frog or Little Red Tree Frog||Common to northern half of state.|
|Litoria splendida||Magnificent Tree Frog or Splendid Tree Frog|
|Litoria tornieri||Tornier's Frog|
|Litoria watjulumensis||Wotjulum or Watjulum Frog|
|Limnodynastes convexiusculus||Marbled Marsh Frog|
|Limnodynastes depressus||Flat-headed Frog|
|Limnodynastes dorsalis||Pobblebonk, Western Banjo Frog|
|Limnodynastes lignarius||Carpenter Frog|
|Limnodynastes ornatus||Ornate Burrowing Frog (Synonym: Opisthodon ornatus)|
|Limnodynastes spenceri||Spencer's Burrowing Frog (Synonym: Opisthodon spenceri)|
|Genus: Metacrinia||One species||Restricted habitat|
|Metacrinia nichollsi||Nicholl's Toadlet||Occurring between Dunsborough and Albany.||LC|
|Myobatrachus gouldi||Turtle Frog||LC|
|Neobatrachus albipes||White-footed Trilling Frog|
|Neobatrachus aquilonius||Northern Burrowing Frog|
|Neobatrachus centralis||Desert Trilling Frog|
|Neobatrachus fulvus||Tawny Trilling Frog|
|Neobatrachus kunapalari||Kunapalari Frog|
|Neobatrachus pelobatoides||Humming Frog|
|Neobatrachus sutor||Shoemaker Frog|
|Neobatrachus wilsmorei||Goldfields Bullfrog|
|Notaden melanoscaphus||Northern Spadefoot Toad|
|Notaden nichollsi||Desert Spadefoot Toad|
|Notaden weigeli||Weigel's Toad||DD|
|Pseudophryne douglasi||Douglas's Toadlet|
|Pseudophryne guentheri||Gunther's Toadlet|
|Pseudophryne occidentalis||Orange-crowned Toadlet|
|Genus: Spicospina||Restricted habitat|
|Spicospina flammocaerulea||Sunset Frog, harlequin Frog, mountain road Frog||Walpole||VU D2|
|Genus: Uperoleia||Toadlets||Restricted habitat||LC expect:|
|Uperoleia aspera||Derby Toadlet (Tyler, Davies & Martin, 1981)|
|Uperoleia borealis||Northern Toadlet (Tyler, Davies & Martin, 1981)|
|Uperoleia crassa||Fat Toadlet (Tyler, Davies & Martin, 1981)|
|Uperoleia glandulosa||Glandular Toadlet (Davis, Mahoney and Roberts, 1986)|
|Uperoleia lithomoda||Stonemason Toadlet (Tyler, Davies & Martin, 1981)|
|Uperoleia marmorata||Marbled Toadlet (Gray, 1841)||DD|
|Uperoleia micromeles||Tanami Toadlet (Tyler, Davies & Martin, 1981)|
|Uperoleia minima||Small Toadlet (Tyler, Davies & Martin, 1981)|
|Uperoleia mjobergi||Mjoberg's Toadlet (Andersson, 1913)|
|Uperoleia russelli||Russell's Toadlet (Loveridge, 1933)|
|Uperoleia talpa||Mole Toadlet (Davies & Martin, 1981)|
|Uperoleia trachyderma||Blacksoil Toadlet (Tyler, Davies & Martin, 1981)|
Fossils of Amphibians have been found in Western Australia.
|Genus||Scientific Name||Common name/s||Distribution|
|Deltasaurus||Deltasaurus kimberleyensis||Blina shale|
- Warren, Anne (1987). "An Ancient Amphibian from Western Australia". In Hand, Suzanne and Michael Archer. The Antipodean Ark. Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0-207-15664-6.
- Martin, A. A.; Tyler, M. J. (1978). "The introduction into Western Australia of the frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Gunther". Australian Zoologist. 19 (3): 321–325.
- "Advice to Western Australians on the humane killing of cane toads (Bufo marinus)". Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
- Burbidge, Andrew A (2004). "9. Amphibians". Threatened animals of Western Australia. Department of Conservation and Land Management. pp. 129–133. ISBN 0-7307-5549-5.
However, not all unlisted frogs are doing well - there has been extensive loss of habitat in cleared areas, especially in the Wheatbelt, where most wetlands have either disapppeared or become saline.
- "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.". International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 5 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
- "The frogs of Western Australia". the Amphibian Research Centre. Archived from the original on 16 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
There are 77 frogs listed as occurring in Western Australia.