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FrogLitoria verreauxii alpina

1 Alpine Tree-frog at Namadgi National Park

Litoria verreauxii alpina at Namadgi National Park - 29 Oct 2017

Identification history

Frog Litoria verreauxii alpina 16 Apr 2018 wombey129
Frog Litoria verreauxii alpina 16 Apr 2018 Harrisi

3 comments

MichaelMulvaney1.1K wrote:
   17 Apr 2018
John and Wil - Am I right in thinking that this is a very significant sighting with Ginni Flats being the only other known ACT location of this nationally threatened alpine sub-species?
wombey129 wrote:
   17 Apr 2018
I must admit it is not a species I am familiar with and I hesitated to confirm alpina as I assumed an alpine distribution. I'm not sure the tendancy to green on this species is as clearly understood as we think.
WillO wrote:
   27 Apr 2018
Michael can you email me privately the location and elevation of the sighting (true alpina rarely occurs below about 1400 m elevation). We did some work on the calls of Litoria verreauxii alpina and verreauxii verreauxii some years ago (Smith, M. J., Osborne, W. & Hunter, D. Geographic variation in the advertisement call structure of Litoria verreauxii (Anura: Hylidae) . Copeia 750–758 (2003)). We found that the best way to id alpina is by its call which has a longer introductory note. Generally need to record the call and convert it to a sonogram but if you listen to both verreauxii verreauxii and v. alpina together on a recording you can do it by ear. Green colour is not an indicator of alpina - both green and brown morphs occur in both subspecies. The large size of the enlarged dorsal warts is however a very characteristic feature of alpina - whereas in the intergrade zone (e.g. Yaouk, Upper Cotter Flats) the frogs have very small warts. In lowland ACT (e.g. Mulligans Flats you get green frogs and brown frogs but they either have smooth backs or very tiny warts and are v. verreauxii.
What the genetic work by Steve donnellan and others revealed is that there is an extensive intergrade between verreauxii verreauxii and verreauxii alpina on the eastern side of the snowy Mountains and a very sharp boundary on the steep western side. There is conjecture about whether alpina should now be considered a full species. I know Murray Littlejohn told me it should be considered a full species based on the differences in call and lack of integradation in Victoria at sites where he worked.
Regarding the sighting on CNM, it has v. alpina features (appear to be moderately large warts) and i would leave the id as alpina. I would be keen to record the calls from that location and we can get Michael Smith to confirm whether it is alpina. It most likely will prove to be an intergrade.

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Nearby sightings

Heterotextus sp. at Namadgi National Park - 25 Jan 2015
Heterotextus sp. at Namadgi National Park - 25 Jan 2015

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Location information

Species information

  • Sensitive
  • Very Rare / Threatened
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 1 - 3 Abundance
  • 29 Oct 2017 2:35 PM Recorded on
  • Harrisi Recorded by
  • Website Reported via
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