The brightly colored southern corroboree frog is patterned with yellow and black stripes running down the back from their head. On the underside they have a pattern of white, yellow and black blotches with some rare individuals having blue on their underside.
Their bright coloration indicates to predators that they have toxic alkaloid secretions which come out of their skin.
They can be distinguished from the closely related northern corroboree frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyi) as they are slightly larger and have more yellow coloration.
Their body can measure up to 3cm (1.2in) long and they weigh 3g (0.1oz). Females are slightly larger than males but both have similar coloration.
Southern corroboree frogs feed on a range of small insects such as black ants, insect larva and mites.
As a tadpole they will feed on algae and small pieces of organic material.
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Australia is the native home of the southern corroboree frog. Here they are solely found in a small area of the Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales. They are found at altitudes above 1300m (3.3ft).
Their habitat changes by the season. During the summer breeding season they can be found in sphagnum bogs, wet tussock grasslands and heath.
Over winter they will move in to nearby woodland and tall heath. They may move up to 300m (984ft) in to these areas.
Breeding occurs during summer. Males will gather at the breeding sites during January and February where they will call from a covered chamber at the edge of the pools. After mating the males will return to the overwinter habitat.
Their calls attract the females who will visit the males to mate. They then lay between 20 and 30 eggs in a nest of vegetation next to a pool. These large eggs may reach up to 9mm (3.6in) wide prior to hatching.
Inside the eggs the embryo will develop until substantial rains during late autumn or winter. When these arrive they will hatch. At hatching they are a tadpole which is dark in color and has a long, paddle shaped tail.
The eggs hatch in to a tadpole which spends winter in a pool. Here they feed on the larval diet of algae and other organic material. In early summer the tadpoles will metamorphose and take on the appearance of an adult frog.
It may take between three and four years for the southern corroboree frog to reach maturity.
During summer they will be found near the breeding ponds. Overwinter they move in to woodlands and shelter under litter, logs and dense groundcover.
Predators and Threats
The southern corroboree frog has no natural predators due to the toxic alkaloids which leech out of their skin.
Despite this their population is under great threat and they now number as few as 50 individuals.
Like many frogs worldwide one of the main threats to their survival is the disease Chytridiomycosis which is acquired through contact with Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.
Their breeding sites are disturbed by introduced species such as horses and pigs.
A large scale conservation effort is taking place in Australia with a number of organizations including Zoos Victoria and Taronga Conservation Society working to breed this species and release them to the wild.
They are also known as the corroboree toadlet.
Dysprosia~commonswiki, BSD, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=556884
Andrew C, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1602618
By Pelagic – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88033856
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