Australian Tusked Frog (Adelotus brevis)

This frog is very variable in skin colour, markings and texture. It is olive-green to brown or black on its back. It sometimes has a darker butterfly-shaped marking on the top of its head that extends back from between the eyes. The back of most Tusked Frogs has irregular markings and is ‘warty’. A few are smooth-skinned. Some individuals have a thin cream line running down the centre of their backs. The belly is boldly marbled black and white. In northern populations, the belly tends to be more ‘salt-and pepper’. The throat is grey with light peppering, while the groin and backs of the legs feature patches of bright red. The hind legs are banded, though this feature may be indistinct in dark individuals.

This frog takes its name from the pair of ‘tusks’ at the front of the lower jaw. These are not visible when the frog’s mouth is shut. Males are larger than females, an unusual condition among frogs. Males and females reach about 50 mm and 45 mm in length respectively. The head of the male is extremely large, up to nearly half the size of the body.

The Tusked Frog is common in many forest habitats, as well as farmed areas where creek banks are free from grazing. Tusked Frogs occasionally take up residence around suburban frog ponds in Brisbane. There is some concern Tusked Frogs may be declining in parts of their range.

The Tusked Frog is found in pockets from north-eastern NSW to mid-eastern Queensland.

You can listen to the distinctive croak of the Tusked Frog here: