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Species profile—Litoria myola (Hylidae)

Classification

Animalia (animals) → Amphibia (amphibians) → Hylidae (tree frogs) → Litoria myola (Kuranda treefrog)

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Species details

Kingdom
Animalia (animals)
Class
Amphibia (amphibians)
Family
Hylidae (tree frogs)
Species
Litoria myola (Kuranda treefrog)
Taxonomy Author
Hoskin, 2007
Nature Conservation Act (NCA) status
CR
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) status
Critically endangered
Back on Track (BoT) status
High
Endemicity
Native
Description
The Kuranda treefrog is a moderately sized species (males 35.6-45.2 mm, females 57.2-69.0 mm) with a broad, flattened head and slender body. The colour and pattern of the back is highly variable, ranging from tan or brown to grey with faint or bright orange, green and brown blotches or mottling, sometimes with a darker patch between the eyes. The belly is cream or white with faint to obvious light brown or grey colouring or dark speckling on the chin and throat. The skin on the back is smooth with scattered small tubercles, with a dorso-lateral skin fold from the eye to mid-body. The skin on the belly is granular. There is a pale serrated ridge along the outer edge of the foot and a slight pale ridge on the hind edge of the forearm. The discs of the fingers and toes are large and rounded. The fingers are half webbed while the toes are nearly fully webbed. The tympanum (eardrum) is highly visible and there is a distinct green crescent in the upper iris. (Hoskin 2007).
The male call is a short, fast series of 'tocs'. The call has a duration of ~0.85s (0.57-1.35) and consists of ~7 notes (5-11) at a dominant frequency of ~1.79 kHz (1.53-2.07). This species lacks a vocal sac so the call is relatively soft. (Hoskin 2007).
The tadpole has not been formally described, but are similar to those of L. genimaculata (Hoskin 2007; Hoskin & Hero 2008).
Distribution
Confidential
Habitat
The Kuranda treefrog is restricted to mature and regenerating rainforest in areas of slow-moving permanent and ephemeral streams (Hoskin, 2007).
Behaviour
The Kuranda treefrog is a nocturnal, arboreal species that breeds in shallow, flowing sections of stream. Males call from streamside vegetation and are also occasionally found away from the streams in the rainforest. Neighbouring males may engage in bouts of aggressive calling which can result in wrestling. Females and sub-adults are encountered both at the streams as well as away from the streams in the surrounding rainforest. Females have been observed at considerable height in the forest mid-storey. (Hoskin, 2007; Hoskin & Hero 2008).
Reproduction
The Kuranda treefrog is a stream breeder with breeding recorded in the spring/summer wet season. Males develop dark, fleshy nuptial pads during the breeding season and amplexus is axillary. Females come to the streams where the males are calling, and a clutch of approximately 500 eggs is laid as a cohesive clump. Tadpoles then develop in the streams. The lack of sub-adults in the streams suggests the frogs disperse into the surrounding rainforest to mature. (Hoskin 2007, Hoskin & Hero 2008).
Parasites and pathogens
The Kuranda treefrog is parasitized by larvae of a Dipteran fly (Batrachomyia sp.). (Hoskin 2007; Hoskin & McCallum 2007).
Threatening processes
Current:
1. Clearing of rainforest vegetation (including regrowth), particularly in relation to rural & urban residential development in the species distribution.
2. Impacts to the streams in terms of water flow, water quality & sedimentation, particularly due to development. The impacts can be initiated at both the sites where the species occurs as well as upstream in the catchments.
3. Fragmentation of habitat & breeding populations.
Potential:
4. Stochastic events, due to the very small distribution & population size.
5. Hybridization with the closely related species L. genimaculata due to captive breeding & release, & movement of individuals of either species in this region.
6. Frog chytrid fungus, which has been found on the closely related species L. genimaculata.
7. Road kill, particularly females crossing roads.
References
Hoskin, C.J. (2007). Description, biology and conservation of a new species of Australian tree frog (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae: Litoria) and an assessment of the remaining populations of Litoria genimaculata Horst, 1883: systematic and conservation implications of an unusual speciation event. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 91: 549-563.
Hoskin, C. & Hero, J.M. (2008). Rainforest Frogs of the Wet Tropics, North-east Australia. Griffith University, Gold Coast. 89p.
Hoskin, C.J. & McCallum, H. (2007). Phylogeography of the parasitic fly Batrachomyia in the Wet Tropics of north-east Australia, and susceptibility of host frog lineages in a mosaic contact zone. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 92, 593-603.
Profile author
Conrad J. Hoskin
Profile date
2009-01-20
Other resources
Atlas of Living Australia

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Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 October 2014
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