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 Coroboree Toadlet (1999)
(Pseudophryne corroboree)

Acrylic on illustration board
7" x 7"
Available for sale

 Family Myobatrachidae -- the southern frogs

About sixty percent of Australia's 200 or so frog species belong to this family, which is restricted to that continent. Closely related to the leptodactylid frogs of the Americas, this is Australia's most diverse frog family. About the only external feature shared by all of its members is that of cylindrical, unwebbed fingers. The 21 myobatrachid genera include forms resembling bullfrogs, spadefoot toads and a bizarre, fossorial desert form with no tadpole stage. Most species lay their eggs in water, some on land, others in foam nests.

Corroboree Toadlet (Pseudophryne corroboree)

In the extensive sphagnum bogs that occur high in Australia's Southern Alps lives the brilliant, three-quarter-inch-long corroboree toadlet, which was not formally described until 1953, when John Moore named it after the Aboriginee festivals evoked by its gaily colored skin. At the onset of the short austral summer, the male corroboree toadlets begin calling for mates. Exactly how the females are able to respond to their harsh croaks is a mystery, since they lack functional ears. They mate and deposit 10 to 38 eggs in deep burrows where they are guarded by the male. Just prior to hatching, the tadpoles enter a state of dormancy until a heavy rain floods the burrow.