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Rheobatrachus silus

Southern Gastric Brooding Frog

Conservation Status

EPBC:

Extinct

IUCN:

Extinct

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 nearly 6 cm in body length. It had a brown, grey or black back, with dark patches. There was also a dark stripe from behind the eye to the shoulder. The belly was white, and the male had brown flecks on the throat. The pupil was vertical, and the iris was gold with distinct, thin black veins throughout. Fingers were unwebbed and claw-shaped; toes were fully webbed with small discs. It was one of only three Australian species known to be almost entirely aquatic; its large eyes, very short snout, and fully webbed toes were all adaptations for living under the water.

Breeding Biology

An amazing process whereby fertilised eggs were swallowed by the female. Tadpoles reached a total length of up to nearly 3 cm and developed inside the stomach, where they took around 6 weeks to develop into frogs. The little frogs were then ejected from the mouth of the female. Breeding was recorded during spring.

Similar Species

Did not look similar to any other species in its former distribution.

Images

Photo: Marion Anstis

Calls

By: Keith McDonald

Distribution

Formerly found in the Conondale and Blackall Ranges of southeast QLD, but has likely become extinct due to the amphibian chytrid fungus. It has not been seen since 1981.

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