Red-crowned Toadlet (Pseudophryne australis) Click to enlarge image
A small species of frog reaching up to 3 cm in body length. It has a dark grey or dark brown back, with bright red or orange patches on the head and lower back. There is light grey on the sides, with several black patches or spots. The belly is a combination of black and white patches. The pupil is horizontal, and the iris is dark brown and sometimes red in the top half. Fingers and toes are unwebbed, both without discs. Image: Jodi Rowley
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australis
    Genus
    Pseudophryne
    Family
    Myobatrachidae
    Order
    Anura
    Subclass
    Lissamphibia
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    3 cm

Introduction

Despite its name, this is not a toad but a colourful little frog.

Identification

The Red-crowned Toadlet is easy to identify by the bright orange-red triangle or 'T' shape on its head and a stripe on its lower back of the same colour. On its belly is a striking, marbled, black and white pattern.

Habitat

The Red-crowned Toadlet lives in forests and woodlands, and heath (Hawkesbury sandstone only).

Distribution

The Red-crowned Toadlet is restricted to the Hawkesbury sandstone areas surrounding Sydney.



Communication

The calls of Red-crowned Toadlets can be heard all year round. They call several times in quick succession, as these frogs commonly live in small colonies and answer each other.

Life history cycle

Hatching occurs when the tadpoles of the Red-crowned Toadlet are well developed and the site has had heavy rainfall. Until then, the male frog usually stays close to the developing eggs, but this is probably to defend the breeding site rather than the eggs.

Breeding behaviours

The Red-crowned Toadlet breeds in damp leaf litter.