By: Chris Hosking, Category: At The Museum, Date: 11 Dec 2010
What’s tiny, eats ants, bright yellow and extremely cute?
Our new baby Crucifix Frogs!
Earlier this year we received five young Crucifix Frogs from Tadpole researcher Marion Anstis that had been raised from tadpoles and were no longer needed for her research. The Australian Museum decided to take them in order to exhibit to the wider public one of Australia’s fascinating and little known frogs.
The Crucifix Frog, Notaden Bennettii, occurs only in the semi-arid floodplains of central NSW and south-central Queensland. They feed only on termites and ants and can live for years hibernating within the clay soil for years to escape the worst of the drought. During the wet times (like now) they will emerge to breed in the temporary pools of the flood plains.
The hardest part of caring for the frogs is keeping up with their voracious apatite, hundreds of ants must be caught daily. This can be difficult task but through placing numerous baited (honey, fruit and chocolate works best) traps on museum grounds the keepers have been able to keep their tiny tummy’s full.
The frogs can now be seen in their exhibit in Search & Discover, on Level 2 of the Australian Museum, there staff can answer questions you have and provide resources about the Museum’s collections.
More information can be found at the Crucifix Frog page.