Northern Sandhill Frog, Arenophryne rotunda Click to enlarge image
Northern Sandhill Frog, Arenophryne rotunda Image: Stephen Mahony
© Stephen Mahony

Fast Facts

  • IUCN Conservation Status
    LEAST CONCERN (LC)
  • Classification
    Species
    rotunda
    Genus
    Arenophryne
    Family
    Myobatrachidae
    Order
    Anura
    Subclass
    Lissamphibia
    Class
    Amphibia
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    4 cm

Description

A medium-sized species of frog reaching up to 4 cm in body length. It has a white or grey back, with mostly black but some red patches and spots. There is often a thin, cream-coloured longitudinal stripe along the middle of the back. The belly is white, with a large dark patch in the middle. The pupil is horizontal and the iris is gold. Fingers and toes are unwebbed, both without discs. The fingers are very wide and short, and are used for digging head first into sand. This is very rare among Australian burrowing frogs as most burrow backwards so that their legs go under the surface first.

Similar Species

Looks very similar to Arenophryne xiphorhyncha, but has a slightly different distribution and a lighter coloured back.

Distribution

Found only along the coast of the Shark Bay region, in WA.



Breeding Biology

Eggs are laid on land as a single, small clutch underground in wet sandy burrows. There is no true tadpole stage; all development takes place inside the egg before little frogs emerge, a process that lasts around two months. Breeds during autumn before winter rains and during winter to spring.


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