Animal Species:Brown Toadlet

The Brown Toadlet is the most widespread of its group (genus Pseudophryne), occurring throughout southern Australia.

Brown Toadlet, Pseudophryne bibronii

Brown Toadlet, Pseudophryne bibronii
Photographer: G Hoye © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Brown Toadlet

Alternative Name/s

Bibron's Toadlet

Size range

3 cm


The Brown Toadlet is found in south-eastern Australia.


The Brown Toadlet lives in forests, heathlands and grasslands where it can be heard calling throughout the year.


The male Brown Toadlets call with a grating 'ark' or squelching sound from burrows made in damp soil or from under rocks or within grass clumps.

Life cycle

Brown Toadlet eggs are usually laid in the burrow or in damp leaf mould and are larger and fewer in number than eggs from most frogs that breed in water. When they are fully developed, eggs hatch with the first heavy rainfall. This washes the eggs out of the burrow and into a creek or pond where the tadpoles continue their development.

Conservation Status

This species, as well as its relatives like the Red Crowned Toadlet (P. australis), and also the Corroboree Frog (P. corroboree), are in decline for reasons we don't fully understand.



What does this mean?

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Tags frogs, toadlets, endangered, threatened, amphibians, vertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,


Jodi Rowley - 2.11 PM, 18 November 2010


The Red-crowned Toadlet (Pseudophryne australis) and the Brown Toadlet (Pseudophryne bibronii) are found in the Sydney area. To my knowledge, the Red-backed Toadlet (Pseudophryne coriacea), is only found further north of Sydney.

There are only very subtle differences between the calls of each species of Pseudophryne, and it's quite difficult (practically impossible) to tell them apart in the field from their calls, particularly as you're likely to only hear one species at a time calling, and so can't compare.

The Red-crowned Toadlet and the Brown Toadlet do differ in habitat - sandstone escarpment areas are preferred by Red-crowned toadlets.

corkishn - 8.11 PM, 16 November 2010
In addition to Red-crowned Toadlets, are Brown Toadlet's (or any other Psuedophryne species) found in Hawkesbury sandstone areas in northern Sydney between Parramatta and Hawkesbury rivers? If so, is it possible to tell them apart from calls alone or are the calls so similar this is impossible?
Jodi Rowley - 1.08 PM, 05 August 2010

Good question!

Toadlets aren't actually toads, they belong to a different family of frogs that are native to Australia (Australia has no native toad species). Quite a few small, bumpy-skinned native frogs are called 'toadlets' simply because they look a little bit like tiny toads. Toadlets aren't closely related to true toads at all.

veronica - 1.07 PM, 28 July 2010
I am trying to find out why they are called toadlets I live in Townsville and we dont like Cane toads but love frogs so why are there toadlets are they frogs are are they really taods ( Please rmember Veronica is 7)

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