Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
For several Australian desert frog species, an adaptation to aridity is via the formation of a cocoon layer, where cytomorphosis occurs at the outer layer of the skin. This outer layer may be shed all at once as new deeper skin cells push outward (Tyler 1998). A. rotunda achieves hydration by burrowing into a soil layer with sufficient moisture content to maintain hydration balance during its diurnal burrowing; in fact, contact with soil moisture of as low as 1.5 percent is sufficient to achieve such hydration balance by skin osmosis (Cartledge et al. 1996).
A. rotunda feeds primarily on ants and other insects, and may travel about thirty meters on land in search of food; locomotion is by way of crawling rather than hopping (Government of Western Australia 2010).
In the austral spring, A. rotunda males begin to produce mating vocalizations. Anuran pairs of this species summer together (December to March) underground and then eggs are deposited in austral autumn (usually around the month of April) (Roberts 1984). A clutch of sizable creamy white eggs up to five millimeters in diameter are deposited in deep burrows up to 80 centimeters beneath the ground surface in moist sand. Minute frogs hatch from the eggs after approximately nine weeks, so that there is no tadpole phase (Tyler et al. 1994).
- Barker, J., Grigg, G. C., and Tyler, M. J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, New South Wales.
- Roberts, J.D. (1984). ''Terrestrial egg and deposition and direct development in Arenophryne rotunda, a myobatrachid frog from the coastal sand dunes at Shark Bay, Western Australia.'' Australian Wildlife Research, 11, 191-200.
- Tyler, M.J., Smith, L.A., and Johnstone, R.E. (1994). Frogs of Western Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.
- Cartledge, V.A., Withers P.C., Thompson G.G., and McMaster K.A. (2006). ''Water Relations of the Burrowing Sandhill Frog, Arenophryne rotunda.'' Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology, 176(4), 295-302.
- Hero, J. & Roberts, D. 2004. Arenophryne rotunda. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on October 2012.
- Hogan, C.M. & World Wildlife Fund. 2012. Southwest Australia savanna. Ed. Peter Saundry. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC, USA
- Tyler, M. J. (1998). Australian Frogs: A Natural History. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.