IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

Litoria lorica is a medium-sized frog (females 32.9-37.3 mm, males 29.6-33.1 mm SVL). The head is rounded with a short, truncated snout. Nostrils almost at tip of snout and slightly lateral. Curved canthus rostralis; sloping loreal region. Prominent eyes. Small, indistinct tympanum, over which a glandular supratympanic fold runs. Vomerine teeth are present on two transverse ridges, just posterior to choanae. Tongue is broad and oval. Fingers are long, webbed only at the base, lack fringes, and are ordered 3>4>2>1. Finger discs are present, with those on fingers II, III and IV well-developed, more than 2x the finger-width; the disc on Finger I is reduced in size compared to the other fingers. Moderately-sized subarticular and palmar tubercles. All fingers have supernumerary metacarpal tubercles. Both males and females have a well-developed prepollex. Forearm is somewhat robust, more so in males than females. Hindlimbs are somewhat long. Toes have nearly full webbing, and are ordered 4>3>5>2>1, with prominent subarticular tubercles. Many small, supernumerary metatarsal tubercles. The inner metatarsal tubercle is small and oval; the outer metatarsal tubercle is lacking. A narrow tarsal ridge is present. The dorsum is finely tuberculate, particularly on the upper eyelids and tympanic region. On the ventral surfaces of the thorax, abdomen and thighs, the skin is granular, but smooth on other ventral surfaces. Males have a densely spinous nuptial pad, as well as more robust forearms and pectoral spines, and lack vocal sacs (Davies and McDonald 1979). During breeding season, males also develop further keratinized, conical spines along the ventral and lateral upper arms, and smaller spines on the head in the loreal and maxillary regions, and the underside of the mandible (Cunningham 2002; Davies and McDonald 1979).

In life, this frog is gray or gray-brown dorsally and white ventrally, with tiny dark brown spots on the throat (Cogger 2000). It may be uniform or mottled dorsally (Cunningham 2002). The iris is silver to golden (Cunningham 2002).

Litoria lorica is a member of the Litoria nannotis group. This frog can be distinguished from L. nannotis (Waterfall Frog), with which it is sympatric, by its smaller size (L. nannotis females measure 46.3-56.0 mm, L. nannotis males 40.1-53.2 mm), a truncate snout, and terminal nares; also, male L. lorica have fewer accessory spines on the head, forearm, and thighs, and less robust forearms than male L. nannotis. It can be distinguished from L. rheocola (Common Mistfrog) and L. nyakalensis (Mountain Mistfrog) by the indistinct tympanum and enlarged prepollex, and the male's pectoral spines (Davies and McDonald 1979).

The specific epithet lorica is Latin for "breast plate", referring to the male's pectoral spines.

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