Australian Ground Frogs: Limnodynastidae - Tusked Frog (adelotus Brevis): Species Accounts
Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansAustralian Ground Frogs: Limnodynastidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Tusked Frog (adelotus Brevis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, AUSTRALIAN GROUND FROGS AND PEOPLE
Physical characteristics: The tusked frog gets its name from the male's two, unusually large, lower teeth, or tusks. The tusks only show if the frog's mouth is open. Otherwise, they are hidden inside. The female either has very small tusks or none at all. From above, the frog is tan with olive, brown, or black blotches on its back and markings that form broken band patterns on its legs. A reddish brown, somewhat triangular-shaped patch covers most of its snout. It has large eyes with horizontal pupils, and its front and hind feet have just a bit of webbing. Once the frog is flipped over, its color changes. The underside is mottled with black and white, and its legs are trimmed in dark orange or red. Unlike most other frogs, in which the males and females are the same size or the females are larger, male tusked frogs are usually the bigger of the two. Males typically grow to 1.3 to 1.7 inches (3.4 to 4.4 centimeters) from snout to rump, but females only reach 1.1 to 1.5 inches (2.9 to 3.8 centimeters) long. In addition, the male's head is larger than that of the female.
Geographic range: Tusked frogs live in the far eastern part of Australia from Queensland to New South Wales.
Habitat: Tusked frogs live in forests and sometimes in grasslands. The males usually stay near water, which may be a stream or just a puddle, but the females prefer drier places.
Diet: Their diet includes snails, insects, and other invertebrates. The males, which tend to live closer to the water, eat more snails, while the forest-living females eat invertebrates they find in their drier habitat.
Behavior and reproduction: Adults tend to stay under leaves and pieces of bark lying on the ground or huddled in some other hiding spot. During the breeding season, the males set up territories and defend them by biting other males with their long tusks. The bites can be severe and may leave scars. Each male calls from his territory with a voice that is a slow, soft "cluck - cluck - cluck." The female lays her eggs on the surface of the water in a foamy nest. The male stays with the nest, which is usually hidden from view under plants or other cover. The eggs, which measure less than 0.08 inches (2 millimeters) in diameter, hatch into tadpoles before changing into froglets.
Tusked frogs and people: People rarely see this frog in the wild or in the pet trade.
Conservation status: According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), this species is Near Threatened, which means that it is at risk of becoming threatened with extinction in the future. Its numbers have dropped in many areas because of habitat loss, mainly as humans have turned the frogs' home into farmland or housing developments, and also because of infection with a fungus that is harming many species of frogs worldwide. ∎
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