Australian Waterfall Frog, Litoria nannotis

The Australian Waterfall Frog (Litoria nannotis), known also as the Torrent Tree Frog, is a species of tree frog that is native to Far North Queensland, Australia. The common name “waterfall frog” is indicative of its habitat of moist and rocky streams and is often found along waterfalls within its range.

The waterfall frog is large, reaching up to 5.5 centimeters long. The dorsal surface is spotted with puck brown. The patterning on the back is much like its habitat, allowing for effective camouflage against granite. The ventral surface is bright orange, green, and pink in coloration and granular. The posterior ventral surface is translucent, showing its internal organs.

The toe pads of this species are very large compared to toe width, to help with gripping to rocks in rapids. The nuptial pads of the breeding males are also large, covering the whole inner surface of the thumb, with spines also present on the chest and the arms. The tympanum isn’t visible, the fingers are partly webbed, and the toes are entirely webbed.

Like the Stoney Creek Frog (Litoria wilcoxi), and many other stream-dwelling frogs, waterfall frogs do not have vocal sacs. This may be due to the sound of a running stream drowns out any calls, and it becomes a waste of energy.

This frog is a stream-dwelling frog endemic to tropical north Queensland, from Paluma to Cooktown, notable in the Mt. Carbine uplands. It can be found at altitudes between 590 and 9,800 feet. It has undergone large declines in high-altitude regions, with many populations completely extinct. In the lowland areas, it is stable.

Image Caption: The Waterfall Frog (Litoria nannotis) of Australia. Credit: Sztraka38/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)