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  1. Common-froglet_stephen-mahony_australian-museum Common-froglet_Stephen-Mahony_Australian-Museum

Common Eastern Froglet

Crinia signifera

Appearance

Ground-dwelling froglet with a slender body, slender limbs and slightly pointed head that is wider than long. The pupil is horizontal and the tympanum (eardrum) indistinct

Colour: The Common Froglet has extremely variable markings, with great variety usually found within confined populations. The colour varies from dark brown, fawn, light and dark grey. The colour of the ventral surface is similar to the dorsal surface, but speckled with white spots. The dorsal surface may be smooth, warty or have longitudinal skin folds. 

Eggs: On average about 200 eggs are laid in small clusters attached to submerged vegetation, the tadpoles and eggs survive in 14-15 °C water.

Tadpoles: Tadpoles are brown or light grey all over with scattered dark flecks. Tadpoles are about 36mm in length. Development is relatively short, however it is dependent on environmental conditions. At a temperature of 15 °C development can range from 6 weeks to more than 3 months. 

Distinctive feature: Usually this frog is discernible by its distinctive ‘crick-crick’ call. Adults have a granular belly which is white or muddy white, heavily mottled with black or dark brown. The patterning on the back is variable but three distinctive patterns are recognised: 1. ridged (longitudinal ridges along back), 2. lyrate (boomerang shaped ridges over the shoulder and on the back) and 3. smooth (back smooth, unpatterned, or with small warts). 

Size: Average size of the Common Froglet is approximately 18-28mm. 

 

Behaviour

Breeding can occur any time of year except mid-summer

What to Observe

  • Calling
  • Presence of eggs or tadpoles

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

They may start appearing in new areas as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. Since breeding is linked to rainfall, increases in rainfall in north-west Australia may lead to increased numbers.

When To Look

Males can be seen heard calling and breeding any time of the year except in mid-summer. Eggs are usually present in July - November and February and tadpoles will develop in anywhere between 6 weeks and 3 months depending on environmental conditions. 

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout all year!



Where To Look

The Common Froglet is widely distributed on the coast from south-east QLD to South Australia and Tasmania. They can be found in damp areas, streams or ponds that have plenty of shelter. They are adaptable to a wide variety of habitats from alpine to coastal regions, including areas of high disturbance. 

Within these habitats they shelter under logs and other debris, usually in moist, shallow areas or near water. It is not uncommon to find dozens of individuals under one log or rock.

Eggs and tadpoles are aquatic and can be found in ponds, dams, swamps, flooded grassland, ditches and hollows.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!



Sightings

References

Hoskin, C.J., Grigg, G.C., Stewart, S.A & Macdonald, S.L. (2015) Frogs of Australia (1.1 (4614)) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http:www.ugmedia.com.au

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