Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This Australian endemic occurs over most of eastern Australia in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, central Queensland and eastern Tasmania. It was also thought to be present in the Kununurra district in north eastern Western Australia, however this was a result of misidentification, and the specimens collected in this area have now been correctly identified as L. depressus (Schäuble et al., 2000).
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Distribution and Habitat

Occurring over most of eastern Australia (South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, central Queensland and Tasmania) and extending along the eastern seaboard. Its presence in the Kununurra district in north-eastern Western Australia is believed to be the result of an accidental introduction via the relocation of several hundred transportable homes from Adelaide. The extent of occurrence of the species is approximately 2,381,900 km2.Widely distributed and abundant.

  • Barker, J., Grigg, G. C., and Tyler, M. J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, New South Wales.
  • Tyler, M.J., Smith, L.A., and Johnstone, R.E. (1994). Frogs of Western Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.
  • Horton, P. (1982). ''Precocious reproduction in the Australian frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis.'' Herpetologica, 38(4), 486-489.
  • Martin, A.A. and Tyler, M.J. (1978). ''The Introduction into Western Australia of the frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Gunther.'' Australian Zoologist, 19(3), 321-325.
  • Roberts, J.D. and Seymour, R.S. (1989). ''Non-foamy egg masses in Limnodynastes tasmaniensis (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from South Australia.'' Copeia, 1989(2), 488-492.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The species is typically found in marshy country, particularly in the vicinity of grass-lined streams and ponds or flooded paddocks. By day it hides under logs, stones and debris near the water’s edge. Breeding can occur at anytime during the year but most commonly between August and March. Males call from the edge of shallow water, partly concealed by vegetation. The species lays floating foam nests of 90-1,350 eggs in water attached to emergent vegetation. Tadpoles take 3-5 months to develop. Some sites have been recorded as having non-foamy egg masses. It can reproduce in juvenile form at 80-100 days after metamorphosis. In Tasmania, spring flooding rains trigger enormous breeding activity.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Associations

Vertebrate Associates on Kangaroo Island, Australia

The most notable mammal present is the endemic Kangaroo Island Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus), the icon for whom the island was named upon European discovery in 1802. A smaller marsupial present on the island is the Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii). An endemic dasyurid is the Critically Endangered Kangaroo Island Dunnart (Sminthopsis aitkeni), which is found only in the west of the island in Eucalyptus remota/E. cosmophylla open low mallee, E. baxteri low woodland or E. baxteri/E. remota low open woodland. The Common Brush-tailed Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is a widespread folivore native to Australia.

Monotremes are also represented on the island. There is also an introduced population of the Duck-billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in the western part of the island in Flinders Chase National Park. The Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is also found moderately widespread on Kangaroo Island.

Chiroptera species on Kangaroo Island include the Yellow-bellied Pouched Bat (Saccolaimus flaviventris), which species is rather widespread in Australia and also occurs in Papua New Guinea. Australia's largest molossid, the White-striped Free-tail Bat (Tadarida australis) is found on Kangaroo Island. Another bat found on the island is the Southern Forest Bat (Eptesicus regulus), a species endemic to southern Australia (including Tasmania).

Several anuran species are found on Kangaroo island: Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingii), Spotted Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis), Painted Spadefoot Frog (Neobatrachus pictus), Brown Toadlet (Pseudophryne bibroni) and Brown Froglet (Crinia signifera).

The Heath Monitor (Varanus rosenbergi ) is a lizard that grows up to a metre in length, preying on smaller reptiles, juvenile birds and eggs; it is frequently observed on warmer days basking in the sunlight or scavenging on roadkill. The Black Tiger Snake (Notechis ater) is found on Kangaroo Island. Another reptile particularly associated with this locale is the Kangaroo Island Copperhead (Austrelaps labialis).

The Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami) is found on the island, especially in the western part, where its preferred food, fruit of the Drooping Sheoak, is abundant. The Kangaroo Island Emu (Dromaius baudinianus) became extinct during the 1820s from over-hunting and habitat destruction due to burning.

Marine mammals that are observed on the island include the Australian Sea Lion (Neophoca cinerea) and New Zealand Fur Seal (Arctocephalus forsteri), each species of which is native to Kangaroo Island, and abundant at Admiral's Arch as well as at Seal Bay.

Kangaroo Island is not so adversely impacted by alien species grazers as parts of the mainland. No rabbit species are present on the island, and introduced (but escaped) Domestic Goats (Capra hircus) and pigs (Sus scrofa) have generated only minor issues. However, a Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) population introduced to the island in the 1920s has caused significant damage to certain woodland communities, especially to Manna Gum trees.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Jean-Marc Hero, John Clarke, Frank Lemckert, Peter Robertson, Peter Brown, Ed Meyer

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

History
  • 2002
    Least Concern
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Population

Population
It is a widely distributed and abundant species.

Population Trend
Stable
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Typically found in marshy country, particularly in the vicinity of grass-lined streams and ponds or flooded paddocks. By day hides under logs, stones and debris near the water's edge. In Western Australia it is confined to roadside situations at the base of dense grasses.Breeding can occur at anytime during the year but most commonly between August and March. Males call from the edge of shallow water, partly concealed by vegetation. The species lays floating foam nests of 90 to 1350 eggs in water attached to emergent vegetation. Tadpoles take 3 to 5 months to develop, but may be shorter in the warmer climate of Western Australia. Some sites have been recorded as having non-foamy egg masses. This species can reproduce at 80 to 100 days after metamorphosis.

  • Barker, J., Grigg, G. C., and Tyler, M. J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, New South Wales.
  • Tyler, M.J., Smith, L.A., and Johnstone, R.E. (1994). Frogs of Western Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.
  • Horton, P. (1982). ''Precocious reproduction in the Australian frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis.'' Herpetologica, 38(4), 486-489.
  • Martin, A.A. and Tyler, M.J. (1978). ''The Introduction into Western Australia of the frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Gunther.'' Australian Zoologist, 19(3), 321-325.
  • Roberts, J.D. and Seymour, R.S. (1989). ''Non-foamy egg masses in Limnodynastes tasmaniensis (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from South Australia.'' Copeia, 1989(2), 488-492.
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to the species overall. In Tasmania, drought and the lowering of the water table is a threat to some populations. Competition from the tadpoles of Bufo marinus can effect the growth of the tadpoles. Chytrid fungus was detected in this species in Adelaide, Western Australia.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

No known declines and large extent of occurrence.

Threats
None known.

Conservation Measures
None in place.

  • Barker, J., Grigg, G. C., and Tyler, M. J. (1995). A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, New South Wales.
  • Tyler, M.J., Smith, L.A., and Johnstone, R.E. (1994). Frogs of Western Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.
  • Horton, P. (1982). ''Precocious reproduction in the Australian frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis.'' Herpetologica, 38(4), 486-489.
  • Martin, A.A. and Tyler, M.J. (1978). ''The Introduction into Western Australia of the frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Gunther.'' Australian Zoologist, 19(3), 321-325.
  • Roberts, J.D. and Seymour, R.S. (1989). ''Non-foamy egg masses in Limnodynastes tasmaniensis (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from South Australia.'' Copeia, 1989(2), 488-492.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species occurs within a number of conservation parks and reserves. It is sometimes bred in captivity in Australian zoos.
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Wikipedia

Spotted grass frog

The Spotted grass Frog or Spotted Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) is a terrestrial frog native to Australia. It is distributed throughout all of New South Wales and Victoria, eastern South Australia, the majority of Queensland, and eastern Tasmania. It is also naturalised in Western Australia, having been unintentionally introduced at Kununurra in the 1970s, apparently during the relocation of several hundred transportable homes from Adelaide.[1]

The spotted grass frog was also formerly known as the "Marbled frog" in South Australia,[2] although this common name is also used for Limnodynastes convexiusculus, a species of ground-dwelling frog native to northern and north-eastern Australia, and southern New Guinea.

Physical description[edit]

A Spotted Grass Frog demonstrating an orange mid-dorsal stripe.
Demonstrating larger blotches

This frog reaches 45 mm in length. Its colour ranges from light brown to olive-green, with large, irregular shaped, green or brown spots on its back. Occasionally it will have a thin, pale cream, yellow or bright orange stripe running from snout to vent. There is a raised pale stripe running from below the eye to the base of the arm. The arms and legs are spotted like the back, and the belly is white.

Ecology and behaviour[edit]

This frog is common throughout Australia and is one of the first species to inhabit new dams and ditches. This species is associated with most habitats, including permanent or temporary dams, roadside ditches, ponds, flooded grassland and slow moving creeks, in urban areas, farmland, woodland, coastal areas and arid areas. The frog is usually found in grass or under other cover, near a still water source.

Breeding[edit]

The males calling and the breeding will occur pretty much all year round, finishing during summer. The call of this frog varies from a staccato machine gun sounding burst to a single 'Tok' sound, depending on the call race, which varies geographically. The machine gun call is the northern call race, throughout NSW and QLD. The 'tok' call is the southern call race, which occurs in southern VIC and TAS.

The male and female frogs can be sexed by the presence of a flap of skin around the thumbs of the females. This is used to froth the water during amplexus to create the floating foamy nest that it lays eggs in, which is roughly the size of a human palm. The tadpoles of this frog are comparatively large (up to 6 cm). This frog spends a minimum of 3 months in the tadpole stage.

Similar species[edit]

This species is commonly confused with the Long-thumbed Frog (Limnodynastes fletcheri), with which there is a regional overlap. The two frogs can be distinguished by a disproportionately long second digit of the inner front toes in the case of L. fletcheri. The long-thumbed frog also has larger irregular shaped spots on the back and a red/purple eyelid, which is uncommon in L. tasmaniensis.

As a pet[edit]

It is kept as a pet,[3] in Australia this animal may be kept in captivity with the appropriate permit.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Martin, A. A. and Tyler, M. J. (1978). "The introduction into Western Australia of the frog Limnodynastes tasmaniensis Gunther". Australian Zoologist 19 (3): 321–325. 
  2. ^ Waite, Edgar R. (1929): The reptiles and amphibians of South Australia. Facsimile Edition, issued to commemorate the Second World Congress of Herpetology, Adelaide,South Australia, by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. 1993.
  3. ^ Mark Davidson. 2005. Australian Reptile Keeper Publications. ISBN 0-9758200-0-1

References[edit]

  • Hero et al. (2004). Limnodynastes tasmaniensis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Anstis, M. 2002. Tadpoles of South-eastern Australia. Reed New Holland, Sydney.
  • Robinson, M. 2002. A Field Guide to Frogs of Australia. Australian Museum/Reed New Holland, Sydney.
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