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Notaden melanoscaphus

Northern Spadefoot

Conservation Status

EPBC:

Unlisted

IUCN:

Least Concern

Calling Period

Possible
Yes
Peak
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Description

A medium-sized species of frog reaching up to 5.5 cm in body length. It has an olive-grey or brown back, with four dark brown patches in a cross pattern and sometimes small pale orange spots. There are dark vertical patches from the upper lip to the nostril and from the upper lip to under the eye. The belly is white, and the male has a brown throat. The pupil is horizontal or nearly round, and the iris is gold. Fingers are unwebbed and toes are one-third webbed, both without discs. Their skin can secrete a very sticky glue-like substance.

Breeding Biology

Eggs are laid as a cluster at the surface of the water in temporary ponds and floodplain ditches. Tadpoles can reach a total length of up to 4.5 cm and are gold or olive-brown in colour, sometimes stained with algae. They often remain on the bottom of water bodies, and take around two months to develop into frogs, although tadpoles in warm, shallow water bodies may develop faster. Breeds during the summer wet season after heavy rain.

Similar Species

Looks similar to Notaden nichollsi and Notaden weigeli in its distribution, but has four dark brown patches in a cross pattern on its back.

Images

Photo: Jodi Rowley

Photo: Jodi Rowley

Photo: Jodi Rowley

Photo: Jodi Rowley

Calls

By: Paul Doughty

By: Dane Trembath

Distribution

Found throughout northern Australia, from far north WA, across the Top End of the NT and east to the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York region in QLD.

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