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FROGS OF AUSTRALIA
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whites_tree_frog_small.jpg
2 green tree frogs

 australia has such a wide variety of amphipians, which consists of more than 200 species of frogs, which are from the family Hylidae, Leptodactylidae(Myobatrachidae), Ranidae, Microhylidae and one introduced family; bufonidae. on this web-site i will be explaining the basic husbandry on some of the most common kept frogs in Australia.

FROG FAMILIES IN AUSTRALIA

The term frog and toad is a little confused in Australia. Australia has only one toad - the introduced Cane Toad (Bufo marinus). The popular usage of the word "toad" or "toadlet" has been given to any slow, warty, terrestrial frog, while anything that was active, smooth-skinned, climbed or jumped, was popularly gioven the name "frog".

Below is a brief explaination of the Australian frog families.

Green & Golden Bell Frog, Green & Golden Grass Frog (Litoria aurea)

FAMILY: HYLIDAE
Members of this family are commonly called Tree Frogs. This is due to the development, in many species, or large fingers and toes which enable them to climb. Some are truly tree frogs while others are almost incapable of climbing. Australian Hylidae vary enormously. Some are very agile arboreal species with large adhesive discs on their fingers and toes, others are long limbed terrestrial species with only slighly expanded discs. This family is characterised by having the following feature:

  • Arciferal pectoral girdle (the epicoracoid cartileages are free and overlapping);
  • Most have an intercalary cartilage between the last two bones of each finger and toe, which gives the finger and toes a notched look;
  • The fingers and toe discs may be well or poorly developed;
  • The sacral diapophyses is dilated; and
  • Maxillary teeth are present.


FAMILY: MYOBATRACHIDAE

These frogs are known as the Southern Frogs and are sometimes placed in the Leptodactylidae family. Many are burrowers, some are swamp dwellers, and one lives only above the snow-line. Most are burrowing or terrestrial. This family is characterised by having the following feature:

  • Arciferal pectoral girdle (the epicoracoid cartileages are free and overlapping);
  • Intercalary cartilages are absent;
  • The fingers and toe discs are small or absent, without lateral grooves;
  • Sacral diapophyses is more or less dilated;
  • Has eight presacral vertebrae, the first two being fused in some; and
  • Maxillary teeth present, or if absent, the toes never more than about half-webbed.

Southern Barred Frog, Giant Barred Frog, Giant Barred River Frog (Mixophyes iteratus)

Slender Frog, Shrill Chirper Frog, Shrill Whistling-frog (Sphenophryne gracilipes)

FAMILY: MICROHYLIDAE
This is a large group of frogs that occur throughout the tropics. They are confined to the wet rainforests of far north-western Queensland and the monsoonal forests of Arnhem Land. All species lay their eggs on the ground and they hatch fully formed from the egg. Eggs are often guarded by the males. (Identification of some species is often very difficuly.) This family is characterised by having the following feature:

  • Firmisternal pectoral girdle (the epicoracoid cartileages are fused in the middle);
  • The intercalary cartilage is absent;
  • The finger and toe discs are present or absent, with lateral grooves;
  • The sacral diapophyses is dilated;
  • Maxillary teeth usually absent;
  • The toes are not webbed; and
  • No dorso-lateral skin-fold.

FAMILY: RANIDAE
Australia has only one of these so-called "True" frogs. This frog is only found in the Cape York Peninsula. This family is characterised by having the following feature:

  • Firmisternal pectoral girdle (the epicoracoid cartileages are fused in the middle);
  • The intercalary cartilage is absent;
  • Small finger and toe discs are present, with lateral grooves;
  • The sacral diapophyses cylindrical;
  • Maxillary teeth present;
  • The toes are fully webbed; and
  • A dorso-lateral skin-fold from eye to hindlimb.
 

Water Frog, Australian Bullfrog (Rana daemeli)

the above "frog family" info was contributed by Mark W

 
 

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