Litoria sp. nov. (Desert Tree Frog)
Size range: Males 31-35mm; females 33-37mm.
Regions: Central Districts, Mt Lofty Ranges & Adelaide Plains, Flinders Ranges, North East, North West
Description: A moderately-sized frog with a short head and legs. Their pupil is horizontal and their body is pale-brown, with darker brown freckles. They usually have a dark brown stripe along the side of the head and body. Their ear drums are visible and the sides of their hind legs are pale yellow. They have pads on their fingers and toes.
Habitat: As this frog may be split into a number of species, its actual distribution is unknown. Currently it is reported in the northern Flinders Ranges and elsewhere in northern Australia. In the Flinders Ranges it is confined to rock pools where it lives amongst dead vegetation, rocks and bark. The Desert Tree Frog only occurs in the northern, arid section of the Central Districts.
Conservation status: Not yet determined; probably secure.
Call description: A loud, high-pitched and pulsed screeching, like that of a seagull.
Breeding behaviour: Unknown
Easily confused with: It has been suggested that the species Litoria rubella may actually be a complex of different species that should be split into separate species. In 2010 a frog from the Flinders Ranges, previously believed to be Litoria rubella, was reported in the media as being a new species, which is tentatively called Litoria sp. nov. It has yet to be officially reported in the scientific community, so both of these species are listed in the Frog Watch website and Frog Spotter app.
Interesting facts: Litoria rubella has one of the largest distributions of Australian frogs, being found across northern and central Australia and New Guinea, however it is now believed to represent a number of distinct species which have not yet been officially described.