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Rheobatrachus vitellinus

Northern 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 large species of frog reaching up to 8.5 cm in body length. It had a brown back with darker brown patches. The belly was white or grey, with yellow on the lower half. 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 developed inside the stomach; it is unknown how long they took to develop into frogs there. The little frogs were then ejected from the mouth of the female. Breeding was recorded during spring.

Similar Species

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

Images

Photo: Hal Cogger

Calls

By: Keith McDonald

Distribution

Formerly found in the Clarke Range including Eungella National Park near Mackay in QLD, but has likely become extinct due to the amphibian chytrid fungus. It has not been seen since 1986.

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