Animal Species:Giant Burrowing Frog

Sydney's largest frog, the Giant Burrowing Frog, is an impressive amphibian.

Giant Burrowing Frog, Heleioporus australiacus

R & A Williams © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Giant Burrowing Frog

Alternative Name/s

Eastern Owl Frog

Identification

The Giant Burrowing Frog is sometimes mistaken for the Cane Toad (Bufo marinus) because of its size and warty appearance. The easiest way to tell if you're looking at a Giant Burrowing Frog or a Cane Toad is to look at the eyes. The Cane Toad's eyes have a horizontal pupil with a gold iris. The Giant Burrowing Frog's eyes have a vertical pupil with a silver-grey iris.

Size range

9 cm - 10 cm

Similar Species

Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)

Distribution

The Giant Burrowing Frog is found throughout Australia

Habitat

The Giant Burrowing Frog lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath.

 

Feeding and Diet

Adult Giant Burrowing Frogs travel widely in search of food, which includes spiders, centipedes, insects, crayfish and even bull ants.

Communication

Giant Burrowing Frogs give an owl-like hoot call.

Mating and reproduction

During the summer, male Giant Burrowing Frogs use their powerful spade-like back legs to dig deep burrows into creek banks. From here they give an owl-like hoot to attract females, giving them their other name, the Eastern Owl Frog. After mating, the females lay eggs in a foamy nest in the burrow. The tadpoles that develop are washed into the creek during heavy rain.

Conservation Status

Like many amphibians, populations of the Giant Burrowing Frog are thought to be in decline.

Classification

Species:
australiacus
Genus:
Heleioporus
Family:
Myobatrachidae
Order:
Anura
Subclass:
Lissamphibia
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags frogs, amphibians, vertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,

1 comment

annavervoorn - 11.06 AM, 14 June 2010
We have an active population here in the bush in the O'Connell area. Now that we know what this creature is (which we keep on unearthing while working in the garden)we are doing our best to facilitate its survival. Anna

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