Limnodynastes peronii

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Geographic Range

L. peronii is found on the coast and ranges of Victoria, North South Wales, and eastern Queensland on the continent of Australia.

Habitat

L. peronii is widespread and adaptable. L. peronii is usually found associated with permanent water throughout its range, in slow moving streams, swamps, marshes, damns, and ponds. It is especially common under debris on river flats. In suburban areas L. peronii commonly uses outdoor fish ponds as breeding sites. The striped marsh frog also appears tolerant of polluted water.

  • Aquatic Biomes
  • lakes and ponds

Physical Description

Male L. peronii are approximately 65 mm in length, with females being slightly smaller. The dorsal surface of males and females is marked with a series of dark and light brown stripes, and there is frequently a pale mid dorsal stripe. The striped dorsal pattern breaks up laterally into a series of blotches. The ventral surface is white, except for the throat of the male, which is distinguished by a yellow wash and dark brown mottling. The snout is rather pointed and the iris is golden above and dark brown below. The toes are very long and not webbed, with a small inner metatarsal tubercle. The fingers are without webbing although breeding females have prominent flanges. The forearms show sexual dimorphism and they are bigger in males than females.

Limnodynastes peronii could be confused with L. salmini or L. tasmaniensis. The latter is much smaller (45 mm) and although the body shape is essentially the same, the dorsal pattern is spotted, not striped. L. salmini can be distinguished by the presence of pink-orange dorsal and lateral stripes.

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • male larger
  • sexes colored or patterned differently
  • Average length
    65 mm
    2.56 in

Development

Reproduction

Breeding occurs form August until March. The female deposits 700 to 1,000 small, unpigmented eggs in a foam mass entangled in vegetation at the edge of a slow moving river or pond. An exception occurs in southern Australia. In the lower southeast of South Australia females lack finger flanges and do not produce a foam nest. The tadpoles reach 65 mm in length and are pale brown with the adult dorsal pattern becoming apparent as the tadpole is developing forelimbs.

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • oviparous
  • Breeding season
    Breeding occurs from August to March.
  • Range number of offspring
    700 to 1,000

Behavior

L. peronii is secretive by day, hiding under logs, stones, or leaf litter. It burrows effectively despite the lack of enlarged metatarsal tubercles. At night the Striped Marsh Frog is active in feeding. During mating season calls are also a very common occurrence at night. Male mating calls come from concealed locations under overhanging ledges or from thick vegetation or forest debris. Frogs often make mating calls during the day on land. At night L. peronii calls from the water, floating at the surface with vocal sacs distended. The male's call is an explosive "whuck." The call is comparable to a hammer striking an anvil, and is repeated at intervals of a few seconds.

Food Habits

Juvenile L. peronii are herbivores that feed on aquatic flora. However, once the striped marsh frog matures, its food habits change. Mature L. peronii are carnivores that tend to feed on insects and other small invertebrates.

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

These frogs currently have no commercial economic value for humans. However, the Brown Striped Marsh Frog helps humans by feeding on insects.

Conservation Status

This is one of the most common frogs of eastern Australia. There are currently no problems with population numbers and no IUCN warning listings. However, if deforestation and destruction of aquatic habitat occur, L. peronii could face a drastic reduction in population numbers.

Contributors

Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.

Jason McCullough (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

Australian

Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

ectothermic

animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature

metamorphosis

A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

oviparous

reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.

References

Barker, John and Gordon Grigg. 1977. A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Rigby .

Barker, J, G. Grigg, and Michael Tyler. 1995. A Field Guide to Australian Frogs. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton.

Cogger, Harold C. 1975. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. AH and AW Reed, London.