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Philoria sphagnicola

Sphagnum Frog

Conservation Status

EPBC:

Unlisted

IUCN:

Endangered

Calling Period

Possible
Yes
Peak
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
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Aug
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Dec

Description

A small species of frog reaching up to 3.5 cm in body length. It has a reddish-brown or orange-brown back, often with darker patches. There is a distinct black stripe from the tip of the snout to the arm. The belly is light orange-brown or yellow, and the male has black specks on the throat. The pupil is horizontal, and the iris is gold in the upper half and brown in the lower half. Fingers and toes are unwebbed, both without discs. The female has large flanges on the first and second finger, which help to whip up protective foam around the eggs as they are laid.

Breeding Biology

Eggs are laid as a small foamy mass in shallow mud soaks under moss, rocks, and vegetation. Tadpoles can reach a total length of up to 2.5 cm, and are mostly transparent white, only developing grey or brown colour in later growth stages. They often remain inside the broken-down egg mass feeding on their own yolk reserves, and take one and a half to three months to develop into frogs. Breeds during spring to summer.

Similar Species

Looks similar to Adelotus brevis, Assa darlingtoni, Crinia parinsignifera, Crinia signifera, and Paracrinia haswelli in its distribution. Philoria sphagnicola lacks the bright thigh colours of Adelotus brevis and Paracrinia haswelli, and has thicker arms and a different back pattern to Assa darlingtoni. Crinia parinsignifera and Crinia signifera have a different belly colour, and generally lack a distinct black stripe from the tip of the snout to the arm as present in Philoria sphagnicola.

Images

Photo: Stephen Mahony

Photo: Grant Webster

Photo: Grant Webster

Photo: Daniel O'Brien

Calls

By: Alison Mellor

By: Grant Webster

Distribution

Found in the ranges of northern NSW, from Glen Innes to near Port Macquarie.

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